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India

Probe Agency Raids Homes Of 2 Bengal Ministers In Teacher Recruitment Scam

Officials had also carried out a simultaneous raid at the residence of former chairman of West Bengal Board of Primary Education.

Enforcement Directorate
Enforcement Directorate logo for representational purpose. (PTI Photo)

Kolkata: A team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials raided the residences of Bengal ministers Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Adhikari on Friday as part of its probe into a teacher recruitment scam, a source in the agency said.

At least seven to eight ED personnel arrived at Mr Chatterjee’s Naktala residence in Kolkata at around 8:30 am, and carried out searches till 11 am with CRPF personnel keeping guard outside, the source said. Another team of agency officials visited Adhikari’s home at Mekhliganj in the Coochbehar district and talked to his family members, he stated.

According to the ED source, officials had also carried out a simultaneous raid at the residence of the former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, Manik Bhattacharya, in the Jadavpur area of the city.

The CBI had been looking into the alleged irregularities committed in the recruitment of Group-C, D staff and teachers in government-sponsored and –aided schools on recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission, as directed by the high court, and the ED was tracking the money trail in the 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, once on April 26 and then on May 18. Adhikari, the minister of state (MoS) for education, had also been grilled by the CBI with his daughter losing her job as a school teacher. He told reporters he could not get in touch with his family over the phone.

“They did not intimate us about their visit to our house today. I am in Kolkata in connection with the July 21 Martyrs’ Day rally of the TMC. Had I been around I would have treated them to muri (puffed rice),” he said.

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