Kolkata: Hours after the arrest of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi in London, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee termed it as BJP’s game plan ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“Full credit goes to the Telegraph journalist who tracked Nirav Modi down in London. It is possible that the government was finding it difficult to track him… but then how come journalists were aware of his location?” Banerjee said while speaking to media at the state secretariat.
“Daal main kuchh kala hai (something is fishy). Why has Nirav Modi’s arrest taken place right before the elections? People will not give the BJP credit for this because their expiry date is over,” she added.
Banerjee had earlier also questioned the credibility of the Balakot airstrike against terrorist camps in Pakistan. She had demanded the exact details of the pre-emptive strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps by the Indian Air Force (IAF).
“We want to know what really happened. National TV channels were showing that 300 to 350 people were killed, but international media is reporting that no such thing happened, that the bomb missed its target and no one died! So what is the truth? Where did they drop the bomb? Was it dropped at the right target? We stand by the Indian soldiers and armed forces but don’t want a war for political interest. Politics ahead of elections with the blood of jawans is not acceptable,” she ad said.
Modi was arrested on Tuesday by the Scotland Yard, two days after the Westminster Court issued a warrant against him. “Nirav Deepak Modi, 48, was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday in Holborn,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
He was produced before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he contested his extradition to India.
His bail plea was rejected by the court. District Judge Marie Mallon, presiding over the hearing, said that she was not inclined to accept Modi’s bail plea due the “high value amount” attached to the allegations against him and that he would have “every incentive” to evade surrendering before the court.
Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.
The London court had last week issued an arrest warrant against Modi in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in a money laundering case.
He is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018.
During some of his stay in London he was reportedly also living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique called Nirav Modi on Old Bond Street, which has since closed down.
Mamata Questions Timing of Nirav Modi’s Arrest, Calls It BJP’s Game Plan Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls – News18