India Markets open in 7 hrs 59 mins

Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee counters charges after wife booked for carrying 2 kg gold at Kolkata airport

FE Online

Trinamool Congress MP and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has rubbished all charges against his wife Ruchira Narula after she was caught at the Kolkata airport allegedly for carrying gold in her baggage above the permissible limit. According to a report in The Indian Express, Abhishek said that the charges against Narula were false and politically motivated. He added that allegations are aimed at maligning the image of his wife and party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The Trinamool Congress leader claimed that his wife was not carrying even 2 gram of gold when she was caught by the Customs on the intervening night of March 15-16 at the Kolkata airport. He also shared a copy of his wife’s complaint against the Customs which police later converted into an FIR.

Recently some television news channels, some news portals and leaders of the Opposition tried to mislead people by spreading news. They claimed that the Customs at the airport had caught my wife with 2 kg of gold. Some said she was arrested and some said she was detained. Some even wrote that she was caught with USD 10,000 and lakhs of rupees,” he said.

Abhishek said that the BJP leaders are spreading fake news about his family to gain political mileage.

“A section of BJP leaders and ministers shared the news to make it viral and take political mileage. I want to clarify that this news is not true. It is completely false, the TMC leader added.

Abhishek said that his wife is a Thai national and holds a passport of the country. He said that Narula was born and brought up in Thailand and that she had gone there for medical treatment. The leader also challenged the Customs to release the footage of night to prove charges slapped against Narula are correct.

I can name the hospitals and I can give details to investigative officers, he said.

The controversy started on last Friday when Customs filed a complaint against Ruchira Narula for allegedly carrying gold above the permissible limit and also without declaring the same before concerned officials. The incident, however, unfolded on the intervening night of March 15-16 when Ruchira was held by the Customs at the Kolkata airport. She had arrived from Bangkok by Thai Airways flight number TG313 around 3 am.

Ruchira also filed a counter police complaint against Custom officials (unnamed) under various Sections of IPC.

Abhishek also questioned the delay by the Customs in filing a complaint. He noted that the complaint was filed seven days after the incident took place. If my wife was caught with 2 kg of gold, why was it not immediately confiscated? Was the chowkidar sleeping? Why did it take seven days for Customs officials to fabricate a complaint against my wife and police officers? Have they filed it to please their political bosses? he asked.

A Customs officials told the daily that a huge contingent of police had reached the arrival hall when Narula’s flight landed at the airport. He said that since police kept pressuring the Customs, the department filed a complaint to avoid such a situation in the future.

Abhishek, who is also the national president of TMC’ youth wing, is an outgoing TMC MP from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat. He is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The party has one again fielded him from the seat.