Agartala: A week after the Tripura police booked former deputy speaker and senior CPI-M leader Pabitra Kar under Prevention of Corruption Act, former chief minister and leader of opposition Manik Sarkar termed the move as ‘political vendetta’ against his party leaders.
On Friday, Jeremia Darlong, deputy superintendent of vigilance, lodged a case at Bodhjungnagar police station against Kar under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a vigilance inquiry report.
Sarkar, who was attending a blood donation camp on Sunday, said that his party leaders were being booked with fake charges with an intention to weaken the opposition party raising voice against the misrule of the BJP-IPFT government.
“It is clear that the case framed against Pabitra Kar is a political vendetta to harass him. He was summoned by those who framed the charge against him. He visited their office and submitted the details he was asked. There is no problem. He will face it and cooperate during the investigation,” Sarkar said.
Earlier, in 2019 the deputy opposition leader and former minister Badal Choudhury along with the former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik and former chief secretary YP Singh were booked in an alleged scam of Rs 600 crore.
All three of them were granted bail after completion of 90 days in judicial custody as the police failed to produce an additional report and charge sheet before the West Tripura district and sessions court.
New Capital Complex sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Priya Madhuri Majumder said the vigilance department had launched an investigation against the former vice-president. “It has been found that the property is inconsistent with his income. The amount of property is more than his income. So, the vigilance filed a case with Bodhjungnagar police station on Sunday.
He said the section of the Prevention of Corruption Act would be added to the case. Besides, the case will be handed over to the crime branch. He said the amount of property of Pabitra Babu has increased from 2004 to 2018.
However, Kar has dismissed all allegations of inconsistent sources of income and said the vigilance investigation began a year ago.
“I have responded to their call twice. I have said everything they wanted to know without hiding anything. There was no word of investigation for six months. So I thought maybe the investigating officers were satisfied with the information I gave. But, now I have heard that the case has been filed again. As a result, it is not possible to take any action right now without seeing the certified copy,” Kar said.
He also claimed that he had submitted all the information to the election commission while contesting the Assembly elections and his main source of income is from allowances when he was a minister and MLA and now from pension.
“I also have a good income from ancestral property. There are rubber plantations and paddy lands. From there I have submitted the account of income in the income tax return. I am an all-time worker of the CPIM party. I have never done a government job. As a result, the full account of the income has been submitted to the income tax,” Kar added.
Kar sees a political conspiracy behind the case filed against him. However, he asserted that in the end the government would gain nothing.
In response to the chances of getting arrested, he said that his image will be as bright as that of Badal Choudhury. “The CPI-M will benefit if they arrest me. Because they would not be able to prove the corruption and it will increase people’s sympathy,” he added.
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