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11 Feb 2018

Five teams set up to look for Bharati.... Net cast wide for former IPS in gold racket probe

Bharati Ghosh
TT, Calcutta: Five teams of the Bengal CID have fanned out across the country to execute the twin arrest warrants against former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh and her guard, constable Sujit Mandal, in connection with the alleged gold racket in West Midnapore.
Both are believed to be outside Bengal, shifting locations over the past week, CID sources said a day after the arrest of two police officers in the case.
Earlier, CID sleuths were believed to have traced Ghosh locations to Delhi, Gujarat's Jamnagar and back to the national capital. Why she went there and whom she possibly met are the key questions now facing the investigators.
The teams are acting on a combination of electronic and human inputs to trace the former cop. A source said both Ghosh and her guard have switched off their mobile phones since Thursday, making it difficult to track the duo.
A CID officer said they had evidence to suggest Ghosh's "direct involvement" in the purported gold racket that allegedly forced goldsmiths to deposit gold in schemes floated by police officers in West Midnapore around the time of demonetisation in November 2016. A goldsmith complained to a district court, which ordered the CID probe.
A voice message resembling that of Ghosh's circulated on Saturday evening alleging "the ruling party" was maligning her image and planting false cases against her.
Earlier, Rs 2.5 crore in cash was found in a flat in a housing complex in Madurdaha off the EM Bypass in Calcutta. On a complaint from the flat's owner, Calcutta police started a probe against Ghosh's husband M.A.V Raju, who is currently hospitalised. He failed to turn up at the CID headquarters despite being summoned thrice, citing illness.
Chitta Pal and Subhankar De, the two officers arrested on Friday, were produced in a court on Saturday and remanded in 14 days' police custody. Inspector De was the circle inspector and sub-inspector Chitta Pal was the officer-in-charge of Ghatal police station in West Midnapore when the alleged gold racket unfolded. Ghosh was the SP.
The CID had seized unaccounted cash Rs 40 lakh from the residence of De and Rs 16 lakh from the house of Pal.
Correction
The Telegraph report published on Saturday had mistakenly mentioned De as the officer-in-charge of Ghatal and Pal as the circle inspector. Also, cash of Rs 40 lakh was seized from De's residence and not Rs 20 lakh as mentioned in the report. We apologise for the mistake.

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