Mamata kin barred from boarding Dubai flight

In a significant development today, Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was stopped from boarding a flight to Dubai at Kolkata airport. Accompanied by their two children, Rujira was informed by immigration officials that she could not leave the country without permission from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is currently investigating the couple in connection with a money laundering case.
According to Mamata Banerjee, Rujira was planning to travel to Dubai to visit her ailing mother when the immigration authorities halted her departure. However, the ED’s ongoing probe into allegations of financial irregularities has necessitated such measures.
Rujira Banerjee maintains her innocence and has expressed her intention to challenge the ED’s decision in the Supreme Court. Denying any wrongdoing, she remains determined to defend herself against the accusations levied by the investigative agency.
This incident has triggered a heated political debate, with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government of targeting Abhishek Banerjee and his family for political gains. The TMC has called for a nationwide protest against the ED’s actions, alleging a bias in the investigation.
In response, the ED has defended its actions, emphasising that it is acting within the boundaries of the law and reiterating that Rujira is not being singled out. The agency has assured Rujira that she will be provided with an opportunity to respond to the allegations brought against her.
Suvendu Adhikari, a BJP leader and the Leader of the Opposition, asserted that no one is above the law and alleged a previous incident involving Rujira Banerjee’s sister, Menaka Gambhir. According to Adhikari, both sisters were apprehended at Kolkata airport in February 2019, attempting to smuggle bags of gold ornaments. The State police reportedly intervened, confiscating the bags and detaining the women from the customs officials.
As the investigation progresses, all eyes will be on the Supreme Court, where Rujira Banerjee aims to challenge the ED’s decision, and the political landscape of West Bengal, where tensions between the TMC and the BJP are expected to intensify in the wake of this incident.

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