Bengal leader's wife claims NGO raided, CPI-M says 'mean conspiracy'

Kolkata: Usha Mishra, wife of Leader of Opposition in West Bengal and CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra, on Wednesday claimed police raided an NGO run by her over alleged financial irregularities. The Marxists later urged people to protest against the "mean conspiracy".

Usha Mishra alleged a "political conspiracy" was hatched to tarnish her husband's image, as police reportedly searched the office of Bhagawati Devi Nari Kalyan Samity -- which works on AIDS related issues -- in Beldanga in West Midnapore district, in pursuance of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"The project ended in 2011, so what is the reason behind this raid after four years. Moreover, the audit reports are okay, there is no question of any irregularity. If they had to inquire about it, they could have called me. Instead, without any intimation, they broke open the office and took away documents," said Usha Mishra.

"Surjya Kanta Mishra is a clean man who has been raising the state government's irregularities both inside and outside the assembly. His family is being targeted only to tarnish his image, especially at a time when the municipal elections are forthcoming," she added.

In a statement, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said since coming to power about three years and 10 months ago, the Trinamool Congress had spoken of bringing several ministers of the erstwhile Left Front government under the ambit of investigation. "However, no more information has been provided on this."

"Later, after comrade Surjya Kanta Mishra performed creditably as Leader of Opposition, they ordered a probe against the NGO run by Usha Mishra. On January 21, a five-member team of the Anti-Corruption Bureau went to the NGO's office. They did not disclose the reason for the probe, but left with photo copies of some vouchers."

"Today (March 11), some police personnel forcibly entered a basic training college run by the NGO and broke open the lock of the record room before leaving with some files. No search warrants were produced," it said.

"Since (Wednesday) morning, police are preparing a list of the papers, and pressurising the college employees to put their signatures."

The party claimed that earlier a non-bailable case was lodged against Surjya Kanta Mishra's daughter, while his brother -- a former college principal -- faced a similar action.

"These incidents are nothing but mean conspiracies to tarnish the image and harass comrade Mishra.

"It would not be irrelevant to say that the Trinamool Congress and the government have adopted this disgusting path in the backdrop of the Central Bureau of Investigation sending a letter seeking details of Trinamool's income and expenditure accounts," the CPI-M statement said.

"We strongly condemn the incident and urge all democratic people to join the protests again it," it said.

Incidentally, the reported raid comes days after the CPI-M politburo member questioned the integrity of Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam in which many of the state's ruling party leaders have been arrested and interrogated.

"Those who roam around you are not clean but are your hands clean? The chief minister has no answer to this," Surjya Kanta Mishra had said during a party rally on Sunday.

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