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'Will Not Bow Down': TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee After ED Appearance in Coal Scam

The agency had issued summons to the TMC leader on Tuesday to participate in the probe.

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Politics
2 min read
'Will Not Bow Down': TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee After ED Appearance in Coal Scam
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Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee, who appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday, 2 September, said that if the allegations against him are proved right, then he is ready to accept the death penalty, reported news agency ANI.

Banerjee appeared at ED's office in West Bengal's capital Kolkata in connection with a probe into the alleged coal smuggling case in the state.

Amid the ongoing investigation by the central agency, the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear Banerjee's plea seeking approval to go to Dubai for a medical procedure on September 5.

He further dared Union Home Minister Amit Shah to put him behind bars if he committed any wrong.

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Banerjee, who is also the party's national general secretary, had reached the central agency's office in Kolkata for questioning at around 11 am. A large police contingent was deployed outside the office in the city's Salt Lake area, news agency PTI reported.

A team of five ED officers arrived in Kolkata on Thursday to question Banerjee, who is also the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The agency had issued summons to the TMC leader on Tuesday to participate in the probe.

'Will Not Bow My Head Before the BJP': Banerjee

Banerjee also said that he won't bow down to threats and summons of central agencies.

"If needed, I am ready to face questioning 30 times, but will not bow my head before the BJP. I have attacked his (Amit Shah's) son over the national flag issue but that does not mean the ED and CBI can be used to threaten me," he said.

He further targeted the home minister alleging that he has only one job, to "indulge in horse trading of MLAs to topple elected state governments of opposition parties."

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What Is the Alleged Coal Smuggling Scam?

The case allegedly involves illegal mining and smuggling of coal worth crores of rupees across West Bengal's borders to Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar with the help of government officials and politicians.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR in November 2020 against Anup Majhi, famously known as Lala, and his deputy Joydeb Mondol, both of whom are allegedly the kingpins of this multi-crore scam.

The two were questioned by the CBI and the ED for their alleged involvement in this illegal coal empire worth Rs 20,000 crore at an undisclosed location in November 2020.

Later, Majhi confessed in a written statement that he would routinely pay money for 20 years to influential politicians in West Bengal for operating unhindered.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  Abhishek Banerjee   West Bengal 

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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