Kolkata: Fake IAS officer, Suvendu Adhikari asked central agencies to interfere

Image Source: NDTV Fake IAS officer Debanjan Deb has been impersonating as a Joint Commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for the last four months and has duped a few people of several lakhs of rupees on the pretext of helping them get tenders of the civic body, a Kolkata Police officer said after initial probe. Deb lied to his family about becoming an IAS officer, and used the money to organize fake Covid vaccination camps, pay to his employees, and rent for the office, the officers reported. The 28-year-old man came in contact with several police officers and political leaders while participating in various programs organized for social causes. The IPS officer further added that they called four persons for questioning as part of the investigation. “Deb was an IAS aspirant but could not crack the UPSC examinations. In 2018, he told his father and relatives that he passed the tests and became an IAS officer,” an officer said. Deb told interrogators he started a business selling sanitizers, masks, and PPE kits last year and made a “good profit” but he did not identify himself as a KMC joint commissioner. Eventually, people started approaching him for help with Covid-19 related needs. Deb promised them help as an official and started going around, identifying himself as a joint commissioner of the KMC. However, one officer said that Deb fell into his own trap and narrated the ordeal, he hired a vehicle, recruited men, and rented an office in the Kasba area of the city, and in this process, he got in terms with a few contractors and sub-contractors and cheated on two. The two filed a report against him, one alleging that Deb took Rs10 lakh in return he promised a tender of KMC, while the other approached sleuths of Kolkata Police alleging that Deb took Rs 90 lakh and transferred Rs 36 lakh in a bank account in the promise of KMC tender to construct a stadium. However, the IPS officer's assumption is that money has been spent on running fake vaccination camps, paying hired vehicles, recruited officers, and the rented office. He further added that the probe is in the preliminary stage, and the investigation is ongoing. Mr. Deb had claimed about organizing a “khichri” distribution camp in Behala with the help of a local club and the police are looking into the matter. The items seized from Deb’s office included pads having fake logos of the KMC and the West Bengal government. Several letters written by two secretaries of different departments have been discovered, and the conclusion behind these letters was for having significant influence. The Kolkata Police on Friday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the fake vaccination drive. Mr. Deb held two camps and thousands come under suspension of getting vaccinated and at the camp held in college, 72 people in total got vaccinated The police arrested Deb on Wednesday for allegedly posing as an IAS officer and organizing a COVID-19 vaccination camp in the Kasba area, where actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty had also got her jab. Ms. Chakraborty, who was invited to attend the camp, said she became suspicious about the vaccination process as she did not receive the customary SMS that is sent to people after they are administered a dose, and informed the police. It has come to attention that Mr. Deb got labels of Covishield printed from somewhere in the Sealdah area of the city and they have pasted the fake labels on several vials of antibiotic injections. West Bengal’s leader of the opposition, Suvendu Adhikari on Friday wrote an open letter to Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan demanding an investigation by the central agencies into the Kolkata vaccine scam.

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