With the arrest of BJP’s candidate Manish Joshi along with coal mafia dons, the closeness of Asansol MP Babul Supriyo with the coal smugglers has started coming to light.
Sources said Krishna Murari Kayel was allegedly one of the closest persons of Supriyo, the Union Minister of State for heavy industries and public enterprise, in Asansol.
Kayel was arrested along with six other people including Manish Joshi, who contested in 2016 Assembly elections as BJP candidate from Raniganj, and dreaded coal mafia don Rajesh Jha alias Raju. They were arrested on December 6 from Baguiati by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police. Police had found Rs 33 lakh in valid notes and suspect that they had assembled to buy firearms.
Interestingly, Kayel, being in business of coal smuggling for the past two decades, also allegedly tries to “keep happy” to some top leaders of the ruling party in the area.
According to the sources, Kayel had, however, failed to earn trust of Trinamool Congress leaders soon after the change of guard in the state in 2011. Sources said that he had been close to a section of CPI(M) leaders from the area since 1997 and it has been difficult for him “to change his colour” overnight. Despite trying his best, he had failed to gain faith of Trinamool Congress leaders in the area.
Subsequently, he had started losing the ground under his feet that helped him to be in the circuit of coal smuggling business for years during the 34 years of Left Front rule.
He had always been close to Manish Joshi and he started inclining towards BJP with a few months left for the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. It was alleged that Kayel had funded a good amount of money for Joshi in the Assembly election in 2016.
Kayel, who earlier used to stay at Tilak Road, shifted to the house he built at Sishu Bagan area a few years ago. The residence of Joshi is also at Tilak Road. Thus, Kayel always used to be with Joshi in almost all political and social programmes.
It was through Joshi, Kayel had managed to come close to Supriyo. According to a large section of BJP workers and supporters in the area, Kayel is found most of the time outside Supriyo’s residence whenever the MP is in Asansol. It had left an effect on the morale of the party workers as coal mafia dons are often found moving around the Union Minister and it had also led to a difference in opinion among the party workers in the area, alleged a section of BJP workers on condition of anonimity.
Supriyo had claimed soon after the arrest of the seven persons that “Manish is a small fish. Krishna, he is mafia don who was part of Mamata Banerjee’s official delegation to Singapore in 2014.”
But, according to the sources, Joshi and Kayel’s illegal coal business allegedly generates money for the “joint real estate ventures of Kayel and Joshi”. Kayel, moreover, has his network spread upto places like Barasat, Bongaon, Basirhat and Dankuni. He is allegedly involved in some more “illegal” businesses for which he often used to visit Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat.
Moreover, Raju was arrested thrice in three different cases and he was behind bars for more than a year after Trinamool Congress came to power. He had been staying outside Asansol to evade arrest. He was in Delhi even a few weeks ago and was arrested from Baguiati a few days after he enetered the state.
A senior police officer said that there are many facts which need to be verified about the accused and teams comprising officers of the Kokkata Police’s Special Task Force would be visiting Raniganj and Asansol for further investigation.
Supriyo could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.