Kolkata: The role of an IPS officer, Akash Magharia, then Superintendent of Police of Purulia District in West Bengal between June 2018 and March 2021, is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the smuggling several crores of coal into the state.
Magharia, currently Deputy Commissioner (Southern Division) of Kolkata Police, is expected to be at ED headquarters in New Delhi on Monday and face questioning over the matter.
ED sources have said that Purulia is one of the major districts in West Bengal that are coming under particular scrutiny in their investigation into the coal scam. Earlier, the ED interviewed eight West Bengal IPS officers in New Delhi, including the current Purulia District Police Superintendent, S. Selvamurugan. It is learned that ED sleuths want to question Magharia about the steps he took to stop the transit of contraband coal through Purulia during his tenure as the then District Police Superintendent, who incidentally was the peak period of this coal smuggling.
The ED, in this regard, has also summoned the current Additional Director General (ADG) of the West Bengal Police Special Task Force (STF), Gyanwant Singh, who has already dodged a summons from the central agency to this topic once before. ED sources said that Singh is supposed to be at their head office in New Delhi on September 28th and coincidentally he also avoids the summons this time central agency will approach the appropriate department seeking against him as as a senior service officer for all India. .
ED sources said Purulia is an important district in the case in several respects – the first being that this district served as an important transit route for the movement of smuggled charcoal. Second, Purulia is the home town and a main operational area of the main defendant in the case, Anup Maji alias Lala.
ED detectives have already questioned Trinamool National Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee three times in the case. His wife, Rujira Narula Banerjee and his sister-in-law, Maneka Gambhir were also questioned.