West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged "pressure" created by central government's anti-corruption probe agencies and "vengeful politics" led to the death of Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata actor Tapas Pal.
Pal, a two-term former Lok Sabha lawmaker who died yesterday of heart attack at the age of 61 in Mumbai, was an accused in the multi-crore Rupee Rose Valley chit fund scam case and was in jail for over a year.
Mamata, while paying homage to Pal, alleged that another Trinamool Congress leader Sultan Ahmed also died of cardiac arrest as he was under stress after being named an accused in the Narada sting operation tapes scandal of 2017 for purportedly accepting money from a decoy agent.
"Tapas Pal was under tremendous pressure from central agencies and was a victim of the Centre's vengeful politics," Mamata told reporters at Rabindra Sadan where the actor's remains were kept for the people to pay homage.
Mamata listed three deaths that she alleged were driven by "harassment" from probe agencies. Besides Tapas Pal and Sultan Ahmed, she mentioned about the death of the wife of former Indian footballer and Trinamool leader Prasun Banerjee.
Sultan Ahmed, investigated in the Narada sting scandal involving bribe-taking caught on camera, died of cardiac arrest in 2017.
A number of leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress have been accused and arrested for their alleged involvement in two major cases of financial fraud -- Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund scams.
They are charged with siphoning off crores of Rupees invested by small investors in the two chit funds.
In 2014, Matthew Samuel, the CEO of Narada News portal, posed as a businessman and filmed Trinamool leaders and officials allegedly taking money.
"The vendetta politics of the central government is condemnable. The law must take its own course but this humiliation day after day, whisper campaigns...these are finishing people," Mamata claimed.