WB SSC Scam: ED Recovers Rs 20 Cr Cash From Bengal Minister's Aide; TMC, BJP Quarrel Over Raids

West Bengal SSC Scam: Chatterjee, currently industries and commerce minister, held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off. He was interrogated by the CBI twice earlier, once on April 26 and then on May 18.

By Talibuddin Khan
Updated: Sat, 23 Jul 2022 02:12 PM IST
Minute Read
WB SSC Scam: ED Recovers Rs 20 Cr Cash From Bengal Minister's Aide; TMC, BJP Quarrel Over Raids
Image Credits: ED/Twitter

Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths continued their raid at West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee's residence on Saturday in connection with the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board recruitment scam. Apart from Partha Chatterjee, the ED also raided the residences of Bengal minister Paresh Adhikari and several others on Friday.

Meanwhile, the ED on Friday evening recovered Rs 20 crore cash from the residential premises of Arpita Mukherjee, who is a close associate of ex-Bengal education minister and TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee. The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of said SSC scam. The search team is taking the assistance of bank officials for the counting of cash through cash counting machines.

Chatterjee, currently industries and commerce minister, held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off. He was interrogated by the CBI twice earlier, once on April 26 and then on May 18.

A total of more than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which is being ascertained, said the probe agency. Besides cash, a number of other incriminating documents, records, details of dubious companies, electronic devices, foreign currency and gold has also been recovered from the various premises of the persons linked to the scam.

The CBI, as directed by the Calcutta High Court, is looking into the alleged irregularities committed in the recruitment of Group-C and D staff as well as teachers in government-sponsored and –aided schools on recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission. The ED is tracking the money trail in the scam.

"ED is carrying out search operations at various premises linked to recruitment scam in the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board," the agency said on its official Twitter handle.

The agency shared four photographs of piles of cash in the denomination of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 besides a number of sealed packets inside a room, without disclosing the quantity or the owner of the place.

'Ploy By The BJP', Says TMC; BJP Denies Any Role

The TMC described the concerted raids as a “ploy” by the BJP government at the Centre to harass political opponents. "This raid by ED, a day after the spectacular Martyrs' Day rally that created ripples all over the country, is nothing but an attempt to harass and intimidate leaders of the TMC," senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said.

“The CBI has already interrogated them (ministers) as part of a court directive and they are cooperating. Now, the ED is being invoked only to discredit them. The money laundering issue is being invented by the BJP," he added.

The BJP, however, alleged that the TMC aided large-scale anomalies in the recruitment process of teachers at the primary, upper primary and secondary levels since coming to power in the state. "TMC leaders and people close to them duped lakhs of qualified youths and handed over their jobs to ineligible ones. The CBI and ED are progressing on the right path. More skeletons will tumble out of the cupboard. The BJP has no role to play in the issue," BJP's Dilip Ghosh said.

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