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Judicial custody for arrested ex-Tripura minister


Agartala, November 8 (PTI): Senior CPI(M) leader Badal Chowdhury, arrested in a corruption case, was on Friday remanded to judicial custody for three days but he asserted that he was framed and would come out clean.

 

Chowdhury, a CPI(M) central committee member who was the PWD minister during the Left Front regime, was arrested on October 30 from a private hospital where he was admitted. He was taken to a police station from there and brought to a state-run hospital later on the same day.

 

After he was released from the hospital on Friday, he was presented before a district court that remanded him to judicial custody till November 11.

 

The police had prayed for five days police custody for him but District and Sessions Judge Sabyasachi Datta Purakayastha rejected it.

 

"The government arrested me in a false case and would not be able to punish me. We will win the case," Chowdhury told reporters in the court premises.

 

Chowdhury was accused of being involved in the Rs 638.40 crore PWD scam. The irregularities took place as the former PWD minister flouted a number of rules in constructing 28 buildings, 46 bridges and 60 roads in 2008-09, state Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath had alleged.

 

He also complained of harassment by the police.

 

"They forcibly picked me up from the private hospital. They took me out through a passage used to bring out bodies from the morgue. I was tortured in the lock-up," he alleged.

 

Chowdhury had claimed he and his wife were beaten up by the police while he was being "forcibly" brought from the private hospital to a police station here.

 

The BJP-led Tripura government had denied the charge.

 

The CPI(M) Politburo member and former chief minister Manik Sarkar on Thursday claimed that Chowdhury was apprehended on false charges and said the party would fight the case against him legally and politically.

 

An FIR was lodged by the Crime Investigation Department with the West Agartala police station on October 13 in which the agency accused Chowdhury, former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik and former chief secretary Y P Singh of being involved in a financial scam of over Rs 600 crore in PWD projects between 2008 and 2009.

 

The three have been charged with fraud, corruption, criminal breach of trust and suppression of evidence.

 

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