Modi Ji, where is Rahul Ratharekar? Why was no FIR filed against him?
With the Government admitting the existence of Rahul Ratharekar and the fact that he was dismissed, an inquiry into the massive ‘Note Ban’ fraud appears to have become imperative
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had informed the Supreme Court a week after the dramatic Demonetisation of 86% of the currency in circulation on November 8, 2016 that the Government expected 10-11 lakh crore of currency to return to the banks. Black money estimated at Rs 5-6 lakh crore, the Government expected, would not be deposited and thus extinguished.
Two years later, the RBI acknowledged that 99% of the estimated 17 lakh crore currency demonetised returned to the banks. Where did the black money go? Anecdotal evidence suggested a massive and systematic money laundering exercise spearheaded by BJP leaders, who helped deposit the currency at a discount that went up to 40%.
Evidence’ in the form of video tapes running into several hours has now surfaced to call for an independent investigation by official agencies. This is likely to be one of the first inquiries to be ordered by the next Government if there is a change of guard. And after three phases of polling covering over 300 Lok Sabha seats, chances of a non-BJP Government taking over appear brighter.
While mainstream media ignored the sting videos, raising questions on their authenticity, the Modi Government, claims senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal, has acknowledged that a RAW field assistant, Rahul Ratharekar, who figures prominently in some of the videos, was dismissed in 2017 for involvement in exchanging currency. The statements made by the dismissed employee , against whom no FIR was lodged and no inquiry ordered, therefore need to be investigated.
With the government admitting to the facts, points out former Union Minister and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, various other questions have cropped up.
• Was Retharekar served with any show-cause notice?
• If so, what was his explanation?
• Did the government lodge an FIR with the police? If not, why not?
• Did the government order any inquiry?
• Why was Retharekar not arrested and put through a trial before being dismissed from service?
• Where is Rahul Retharekar?
There are no answers yet to the questions even as the sting videos indicate a massive fraud.
“I have always held that Demonetisation has been the biggest scam in independent India and it calls for a thorough inquiry,” said Sibal before adding, “Now that the government has admitted to the identity of Retharekar in the sting video, it is incumbent upon the Government to inquire into the other claims made in the clips.”
Pointing out that the video clips extend from Sri Kamalam, the BJP office in Ahmedabad, to Mantralaya, the secretariat in Mumbai, from the Fort branch of IndusInd bank in Mumbai to the chamber of Maharashtra’s Agriculture Minister, Sibal wondered why central agencies have maintained a studied silence. “Income Tax Department can raid opposition leaders before elections but do nothing despite the evidence staring at their face,” he sarcastically added.
Most media outlets refrained from reporting on the sting videos which were posted by the Indian National Congress on its twitter handle @INCLive. Those who mentioned the press conference in passing were careful to point out that there was no ‘independent’ authentication of the videos, which remained, according to them, unverified.
Sibal believes it is for the central agencies to verify the authenticity of the clips. And with the government admitting to the identity of Retharekar, the fact that he worked for RAW and that he was dismissed for illegal exchange of currency, chances of the rest of the video clips being authentic are clearly high.
What’s more, the video clips clearly show the people, who can be easily identified. One Deputy Commissioner of Police by the name of Wadekar; Rustam Daruwala, retired chief manager of the Bank of India; Sanjay Channe, Manager of the Fort branch of IndusInd Bank, Maharashtra’s Agriculture Minister Anil Rajgor are some of the people visible in the clips. Names of several other people in the sting videos, namely Ganesh, Sachin, Jadhav, etc. are also heard clearly and they should be easily identifiable.
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