Kolkata: The role of an IPS officer, Akash Magharia, as the then police superintendent of Purulia district in West Bengal between June 2018 and March 2021, is under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the multi crore coal smuggling in the state.
Magharia, currently serving as the deputy commissioner (south division) of Kolkata Police, is supposed to be at ED’s headquarter in New Delhi on Monday and face questioning on this count.
ED sources said that Purulia is one of the prime West Bengal districts that are in focus in connection with their probe in the coal scam. Earlier, the ED had questioned eight IPS officers from West Bengal in New Delhi which included the current Purulia district police superintendent, S. Selvamurugan. It is learnt that the ED sleuths want to question Magharia regarding the steps taken by him to stop the transit of smuggled coal through Purulia during his tenure as the then district police superintendent, which incidentally was the peak period for this coal smuggling.
The ED, in this connection, has also summoned the current additional director general (ADG) of the special task force (STF) of West Bengal police, Gyanwant Singh, who has already ducked a central agency summon on this count once before. ED sources said that Singh is supposed to be at their headquarter in New Delhi on September 28 and by any chance he avoids the summon this time as well, the central agency will approach the appropriate department seeking against him as an all-India service cadre officer.
ED sources said that Purulia is an important district in the case on several counts — the first being this district served as an important transit route for the movement of smuggled coal. Secondly, Purulia is the hometown and a principal operational area of the prime accused in the matter, Anup Maji alias Lala.
The ED sleuths have already questioned Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee thrice in the case. His wife, Rujira Narula Banerjee and sister-in- law, Maneka Gambhir have also been questioned.