Debanjan Deb, the mastermind of the ‘fake’ vaccine camp in West Bengal’s Kolkata, who posed as an IAS officer to dupe TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty among others, has found to have links with various TMC senior leaders. Several photographs have emerged where Das was seen with several TMC leaders.
In the photographs, Debanjan was seen socialising with the state’s veteran minister Subrata Mukherjee and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Chairman Firhad Hakim. These photos which were found on his Twitter handle, have now gone viral on social media. Reportedly, he introduced himself as the joint commissioner of KMC during his interrogation and even furnished an identity card of an IAS officer.
Apart from Hakim and Mukherjee, Dr Shantanu Sen, the IMA President and Avishek Dalmiya, the incumbent president of Cricket Association of Bengal, have also been spotted in some of the photos that Debanjan Deb had uploaded on his social media handle.
Fake officer’s name engraved on library plaque
Besides this, Debanjan Deb’s name is also engraved on a plaque placed below a bust of Rabindranath Tagore at a library in central Kolkata. The bust was inaugurated at the Tripura Sankar Sen Sastri Memorial Library at Taltala in Kolkata on 26th February this year, And Debanjan’s name is mentioned on the plaque used to inaugurate the bust. Reportedly, he sat on the stage along with other guests, and even had delivered a speech on the occasion.
His name appears under the headling ‘Chief Advisor’, and his designation is mentioned as joint secretary of the West Bengal govt. The plaque said that the bust was inaugurated by Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. Hakim was Urban Development Minister in the earlier TMC govt, while he is the Transport and Housing minister now. The plaque also said that Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, West Bengal minister Tapas Roy, local TMC MLA Nayana Bandopadhyay, and Kolkata’s Deputy Mayor at that time Atin Ghosh were the chief guests at the event.
However, Nayana Bandopadhyaya, whose name appears in the plaque, has claimed that she was not even present at the event.
In an apparent bid to disassociate herself from the controversy, the TMC MLA said: “I was surprised to see the name of the person involved in the Kasba Fake Vaccine camp (Debanjan Deb) with my name on the plaque outside the Tripura Shankar Shastri Library. It is very important to know who organized the event and who is the president of the library. I was not present at the event at all. Let’s find out who used my name without permission”. According to reports, the local TMC MLA has lodged an FIR with Taltola Police Station after the matter came to light.
Similarly, Tapas Roy also has claimed that he had not attended any such event.
Ever since the racket has surfaced, some unidentified people have tried to hide Deb’ name by painting over it with black paint.
“If he has photobombed official events, they could not do anything about it”, TMC MLA Lovely Mitra
In addition, Debanjan Das, who is currently under the custody of Kolkata Police, was recently spotted sharing the stage with the newly elected Trinamool MLA from Sonarpur Lovely Moitra.
When approached, Lovely Mitra claimed ignorance about Deb. Moreover, when the TMC brass was questioned about the photographs, they categorically denied knowing the accused. They instead said: “If he has photobombed official events, they could not do anything about it”.
BJP leaders demand enquiry by central agency
Meanwhile, BJP MP Saumitra Khan questioned the presence of accused Debanjan Deb with multiple leaders of the West Bengal ruling party and demanded a probe by the central agencies in the matter.
Saumitra Khan wrote on Twitter: “And why there will be no FIR under the Epidemic Act against Minister Bobby Hakim, MP Shantanu Sen, MLA Atin Ghosh? If any citizen dies, the TMC MLA will have to take the responsibility”.
Targeting the TMC government over the recently surfaced alleged public distribution system (PDS) scam, the corruption in disbursement of cyclone Amphan funds and now the fake vaccine scam, the BJP MP said that there was a need for central agencies to probe the racket.
And why there will be no FIR under the Epidemic Act against Minister Bobby Hakim, MP Shantanu Sen, MLA Atin Ghosh? If any citizen dies, the TMC MLA will have to take the responsibility.(2/2) pic.twitter.com/g5GMO9ny8j
— Saumitra khan (@KhanSaumitra) June 25, 2021
Likewise, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said in a tweet: “More details of the fake IAS & fake vaccination scandal in Kolkata awaited. Prima facie, it suggests that a picture of @MamataOfficial and display of Trinammol colours secures a blank cheque to do just about anything in W Bengal. This now includes selling coupons for free vaccines.”
More details of the fake IAS & fake vaccination scandal in Kolkata awaited. Prima facie it suggests that a picture of @MamataOfficial & display of Trinammol colours secures a blank cheque to do just about anything in W Bengal. This now includes selling coupons for free vaccines.
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) June 25, 2021
Trinamool MP Mimi Chakraborty duped by Debanjan Das’ fake vaccination drive
On June 23rd, 2021 OpIndia reported how TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty was duped by a man who posed to be an IAS officer and requested her presence at a COVID-19 vaccination camp organised by him at Kasba area in the Southern fringes of Kolkata.
The vaccination drive was reportedly organised in the name of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). About 200 to 250 people were administered with Covishield vaccine, along with Mimi Chakraborty, who also took her first dose of the Covishield vaccine during the camp where she was invited as a chief guest.
Mimi, who herself got vaccinated at the drive, said her suspicions grew after she received no confirmation message of being vaccinated from the CoWin platform. She lodged a police complaint with the Kolkata police and the accused, Debanjan Das was arrested. He was reportedly using a car with a blue beacon and a fake sticker.
“The vaccine certificate should not take 3-4 days. I enquired with others (who took the vaccine at the camp) whether they have got the registration message. They said they did not do any registration or didn’t receive any message. I realised immediately and with the help of the local administration and police, I got him arrested,” Chakraborty said.
In the midst of a rigorous interrogation, Debanjan finally broke down and confessed to his crime. A large number of documents, including fake identity cards, government stamps, requisition forms for collecting vaccines from health buildings were retrieved from him.