Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that “pressure” created by central agencies and “vendetta politics” led to the death of Trinamool Congress leader and actor Tapas Paul.
Paul, a two-term former MP, died at the age of 61 in Mumbai on Tuesday after a heart attack.
The actor-turned-politician was an accused in the Rose Valley chit fund scam case and was in jail for over a year. He was the brand ambassador of the Rose Valley group.
Banerjee, while paying homage to Paul, also alleged that another TMC leader Sultan Ahmed had also died of cardiac arrest as he was under stress after being named an accused in the Narada tapes scandal of 2017.
Ahmed, a former Union minister, had died the same year.
The wife of party MP Prasun Banerjee, too, was a victim of the Centre's “vengeful” politics, the TMC supremo claimed.
Prasun Banerjee's name had also cropped up in the Narada tapes scandal and was subjected to interrogation by both the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI.
“Tapas Paul was under tremendous pressure from central agencies and was a victim of the Centre's vendetta politics,” she told reporters at Rabindra Sadan where Paul's mortal remains have been kept for people to pay homage.
“It is an untimely death for Tapas Pal. He was a victim of continued mental torture by a central agency and that led to his death,” she alleged.
Praising Paul for his work in films such as “Dadar Kirti” and “Saheb”, the chief minister said actors and artistes are associated with several organisations as brand ambassadors.
“But is this a fault for which he (Paul) had to spend more than one year in jail? Is this right? This is pure political vendetta,” she said.
Even charge-sheets in murder cases are filed within three months, the TMC leader said.
She said the same was the case with film producer Shrikant Mohta and a veteran journalist who had been incarcerated for a long time.
The CBI had in January last year arrested renowned Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund case.