ED recovers Rs 15 cr cash Arpita's second house

Synopsis

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.

PTI
The central agency also arrested Mukherjee on July 23, a day after unearthing unaccounted cash worth over Rs 21 crore from her flat in south Kolkata.

An amount of more Rs 20 crores has been “reportedly” recovered so far by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from an apartment in North Kolkata’s Belghoria of arrested Commerce & Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee’s close aide Arpita Mukherjee, sources said. In addition, a huge amount of silver coins, several land deeds, 3kgs gold and gold bars have also been “reportedly” recovered, sources said. The counting is still on.

A truck has arrived at Belghoria club town housing complex with nearly 20 trunks for taking the cash, sources said.

Kunal Ghosh, state spokesperson & state general secretary, said, “My party and my head sank in shame seeing this kind of recovery. Our party leadership is keeping an eye on every development. This is unfortunate. Chatterjee, despite getting an opportunity in front of the media several times, did not utter even once that he is innocent. It is worrisome and shameful. What is difficult to understand, not for once did Chatterjee, from an ethical point of view, have said he is innocent. How come such an amount of money came and from where it came, is astonishing.”

Mukherjee’s apartment in North Kolkata’s posh Club town in Belghoria was raided from morning 11 am. The agency officials had to break the lock to enter this apartment as they failed to get the keys. Security has been beefed up in this plush apartment complex by ED with CISF deployment in the evening. Security was beefed up in the apartment with nine cash counting machines being taken inside the apartment, increasing the possibility of cash recovery, sources told ET. Like Tollygunge, where more than Rs 21.90 crore was recovered, a room was locked in the Belghoria apartment where the cash was reportedly kept, sources said. Another apartment in this same housing complex has been sealed by the agency.

ED raided six locations in Kolkata on Wednesday, including Belghoria apartment of Trinamool Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee’s close aide Arpita Mukherjee, and Barasat and Ballygunge apartments, in connection with a textile company’s links with arrested Trinamool Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee and Mukherjee in Kolkata. Trinamool MLA and former President of West Bengal Board of primary Education Manik Bhattacharya was also quizzed today in connection with alleged WBSSC recruitment scam.

The apartment at Ballygunge Place East in posh South Kolkata locality was searched from morning by the agency officials amid the presence of the central forces. “Mechanics were called to the apartment in the afternoon during the search operations for opening certain lockers reportedly, sources said.

Simultaneous raid was conducted at Mukherjee’s ancestral residence, where her mother resides, has also been raided by the federal agency.

Chatterjee and Mukherjee underwent medical check-up today morning at ESI hospital today, as per directions by the Special PMLA court, which has said that medical tests should be conducted every 48 hours. A team of ED officials from New Delhi has reached Kolkata to interrogate Chatterjee, sources said.

Chatterjee returned his government vehicle as the minister of Parliamentary Affairs to the assembly yesterday night.

Meanwhile, BJP Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari has met the new Bengal Governor La Ganeshan at Raj Bhawan and demanded removal of Chatterjee from the Bengal cabinet in which the arrested minister had been holding multiple portfolios. It is pertinent to mention that Speaker Biman Banerjee has also met the Governor today. However, he ruled out any discussion regarding removal of Chatterjee from the post of minister.

Asked if Chatterjee will be removed as party secretary General, Kunal Ghosh Trinamool state general secretary and spokesperson said that he has no knowledge about the issue and party leadership can take a decision on the matter.

Meanwhile, SSC jobseekers’ movement touched 500 days in Kolkata, who are observing hungerstrike and staying in an open platform, demanding jobs.

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