On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of state minister Partha Chatterjee in the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam, and seized cash worth Rs 20 crore. The ED suspects this amount to be linked to the SSC scam. Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes were piled up during the raid, and this amount was counted through the note counting machine. The investigation team also took the help of bank officials so that the correct amount could be calculated.
The ED said that more than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from Arpita Mukherjee's hideout, and their purpose and use are being collected. Apart from Chatterjee, the ED also raided the premises of Minister of State for Education Paresh C Adhikari, MLA Manik Bhattacharya, and others, the statement said. On Friday, a team of ED officials raided the houses of two West Bengal ministers - Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Adhikari - in connection with the probe into the teacher recruitment scam. At least seven to eight ED officials reached Chatterjee's residence Naktala at around 8.30 am, and the raids continued till 11.30 pm. During this, CRPF personnel were stationed outside. Another team of agency officials reached the officer's house in Mekhliganj in Cooch Behar district, and his family members were questioned. According to the ED source, the officials also raided the residence of Manik Bhattacharya, former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, located in the Jadavpur area of the city. The CBI is probing the irregularities in the recruitment of Group 'C' and 'D' staff and teachers in government-sponsored and aided schools on the recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission on the directions of the High Court.
At the same time, the Enforcement Directorate is engaged in the investigation of alleged money laundering related to this case. Chatterjee, now the Minister of Industries and Commerce, was the Education Minister when this alleged scam occurred. The CBI has questioned him twice. The first questioning was done on April 25, while the second time was done on May 18. The CBI has also questioned the West Bengal Minister of State for Education, Adhikari.
Apart from this, his daughter has lost her job as a school teacher. The officer said he could not talk to his family on the phone.
The minister said, 'He did not tell us about the plan to reach our house today. I am in Kolkata after Trinamool Congress's Martyrs' Day rally on July 21. Had I been there, I would have fed them Moody's. Meanwhile, the TMC has termed the raids a ploy by the BJP-led central government to harass political opponents. West Bengal Transport Minister Firhad Hakim said the ED raids took place a day after the Martyrs' Day rally, which had created a stir across the country. This is nothing but an attempt to harass and intimidate TMC leaders.