West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, who was arrested on Friday in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was on Saturday remanded in CBI custody till December 16, after he was produced in court. There was chaos outside the court on Saturday as policemen struggled to keep Mitra’s followers away from the premises.
Meanwhile, in a different part of the city, the Trinamool Congress, which has taken Mitra’s arrest as an affront, organised a protest rally on Saturday. Thousands of people from the various sports clubs patronised by Mitra joined the rally. It may be noted that Mitra is also the sports minister.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee urged the people to hit the streets in protest against Mitra’s arrest. “It is time to hit the streets. I ask sportspersons to hit the streets. Our support is with you.
Banerjee also made it clear that Mitra would continue as transport and sports minister. For the time being, the chief minister would oversee the portfolios. The Trinamool Congress said it’s MPs will continue with their protest in Parliament from Monday.
“If an image is a proof of criminal conspiracy, then PM should be arrested for Sahara scam. There are images of the PM with the Sahara chief. Should we arrest the PM?” Banerjee asked.
She was apparently referring to photos of Mitra sharing the dais with Saradha Group chairman Sudipta Sen, who is now in judicial custody in connection with the scam, at a function.
“Culture and sports in Bengal are under threat. Mohun Bagan, East Bengal are under threat,” the chief minister said. While mentioning “culture,” Banerjee was probably referring to the probe against painter Shuvaprasanna by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged dealings with Saradha group’s chief Sudipta Sen. The painter is known to be close to the chief minister.
East Bengal’s executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar and Mohun Bagan’s assistant general secretary Srinjoy Bose were arrested by the CBI earlier for their links with Saradha chief Sudipta Sen.