Indian NIA delving into channeling Saradha money to Jamaat

New Age Online

Investigation into the multi-crore Saradha scam in India has taken a new dimension with National Investigation Agency starting an inquiry into allegations that funds could have been channelized to Bangladeshi Islamist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami, accused of terrism, and that a Trinamool Congress MP might have had some role in it, reports Times of India.
The inquiry comes within days of Bangladeshi foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali conveying his concerns to national security adviser Ajit Doval on September 19, only a day before the Bangladesh-India foreign minister level talks in New Delhi.
Within three days of Ali meeting Doval, a three-member NIA team had reached Kolkata to probe the matter.
According to sources, the NIA officers had initial discussions with their CBI and Enforcement Directorate counterparts. ‘They came to Kolkata to gather initial information about Saradha money trail that might have crossed to Bangladesh,’ a CBI officer investigating the Saradha scam said.
The NIA officers, it is learnt, had collected several editions of a publication the MP edits. NIA also spoke to several prominent Muslim organizations. ‘They are trying to gauge the fallout. We are providing them all the material related to the investigation,’ an ED officer said. The NIA team, sources said, will come to Kolkata again in November.
With the NIA stepping in, it’s all the more clear that the Centre is keen to get to the root of Saradha cash trail. NIA — unlike CBI and ED — can investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India and relations with foreign states.
The MP has admitted that these aspects were part of the ED questionnaire to him on September 9. He was questioned for over seven hours. Speaking to TOI, the MP said, ‘They (ED officials) suddenly asked me whether I sent money to Jamaat. This is absurd. It is a political propaganda to malign me and my party. I have filed a defamation suit of Rs 50 crore against a journalist for publishing such unsubstantiated articles on me.’
The inquiry comes within days of Bangladeshi foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali conveying his concerns to NSA Ajit Doval. Three days later, an NIA team arrived in Kolkata to probe the matter

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