A spokesperson of the National Congress of India, Randeep Singh Surjewala, accused the Bhartiya Janta Party of covering up the details of the BTC scam in south Karnataka state.
On Saturday, November 13, the Indian National Congress (INC) set up an independent investigation coordinated by the Special Investigation Team of the Supreme Court of India with some other multiple agencies. The investigation targeted Basavaraj Bommai, the current chief minister who was the then Home Minister of Karnataka State when the incident happened last year.
It was reported that the scam was carried out by a 26-year-old Srikrishna Ramesh, who had earlier been busted in a narcotics showdown in 2019. While the investigation was going on, the police discovered that the perpetrator hacked into the e-procurement portal of the Karnataka state government, where he redirected $1.3 million.
When arrested, he confessed his involvement in the Bitfinex hack in 2016, where about 2000 BTC was scooped. Ramesh, who was arrested in November 2020, was kept in prison for about 100 days without any proper information or briefing to Interpol, as alleged by Congress. The Bengaluru Commissioner of Police eventually wrote the Interpol Liaison Officer and also sent a notification to the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Prime Minister accused of Scam Cover-Up
A serious contention on this situation arose when a claim by the Bengaluru Police on their custody of the seized BTC was retracted. A number of the leaders in the Congress have pointed a finger of accusation at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming he is trying to cover up the scam by asking the Chief Minister to drop the investigation after the INC spokesperson asked the Chief Minister – Bommai to unveil the names of those involved.
The Chief Minister’s Response to Congress
The Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, responded to the Congress accusation and asked why Ramesh was not investigated at the time of the Bitfinex hack in 2016. He went further to say that it was when the Bhartiya Janta Party took the government that he (Ramesh) was taken in for investigation after his involvement with narcotics case while they later revealed the BTC scam.
Bommai slammed congress, especially their spokesperson, Surjewala, for using his Twitter posts to air his opinions and allegations. He now went on to challenge Congress to name everyone behind the incident, and he will be willing to apprehend them.
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