BIG evidence in West Bengal teacher's recruitment scam: ED seizes CD, letter mentioning Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal teacher's recruitment scam: In its first chargesheet filed before the special PMLA court, the ED has claimed to have gathered several incriminating evidence pointing to the alleged involvement of Manik Bhattacharya and others in the multi-crore recruitment irregularities scam.

BIG evidence in West Bengal teacher's recruitment scam: ED seizes CD, letter mentioning Mamata Banerjee

KOLKATA: The Enforcement Directorate, which recently arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Manik Bhattacharya in connection with the West Bengal teacher's recruitment scam, has reportedly collected several incriminating documents and digital evidence pointing to the involvement of several high-profile persons in the scam. According to reports, the central financial probe agency has also seized a letter suggesting money transfer in several bank accounts and a reference to the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – all pointing to the fact that huge money was taken from people in lieu of providing jobs to them. 

The central probe agency also claimed to have seized a CD allegedly containing the names and roll numbers of candidates picked for the state’s primary teachers’ exam among other key pieces of evidence in the multi-crore teacher’s recruitment scam.

According to the sources, the agency also claimed to have found a letter purportedly addressed to CM Mamata Banerjee confirming that 44 aspirants paid Rs 7 lakh each in return for a job and the said amount was allegedly collected by a TMC office bearer.

It may be recalled that the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday arrested Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya in connection with the multi-crore WBSSC recruitment irregularities scam.

In its first chargesheet that was presented before the special PMLA court last month, the ED named Manik Bhattacharya and also mentioned some crucial details on how he played a key role in the recruitment irregularities scam.

In its chargesheet, the agency also mentioned some telephonic communication between Bhattacharya and the former West Bengal education minister, Partha Chatterjee that clearly hinted towards the former WBBPE president`s involvement in the scam. Partha Chatterjee is already in judicial custody in the case.

ED sources said that Bhattacharya played a key role in increasing the actual number scored by ineligible candidates to accommodate them in the recruitment process.

"There are a host of other allegations, including illegal collection of money from individuals getting admission in Bachelor of Education colleges in the state. He also indulged in massive irregularities in the teachers` eligibility test for the recruitment of primary teachers in different state- run schools in West Bengal," the ED officials said. 

It is also alleged that he selectively increased the marks of some candidates in teachers` eligibility tests after some errors were detected in the question paper of the entrance test.

Before he was arrested by the ED, Manik Bhattacharya had a shield from arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) till October 10. However, there was no such restriction on the ED from taking similar steps. The ED exercised that advantage and that too hours after the apex court-provided shield for Bhattacharya expired.

His arrest triggered a war of words between the ruling TMC and the main opposition BJP over the scam. Reacting to his arrest, Trinamool Congress`s Rajya Sabha member, Dr Santanu Sen said that although the party does not have any comment to offer on the development, they want the central investigative agencies to complete their investigation as early as possible without dragging it for an indefinite period to give advantage to any political party.

On the other hand, the BJP welcomed the move by the ED and said that the central agencies are moving in the right direction and slowly more heavyweights in the case will be netted. The CPI(M) central committee member, Sujan Chakraborty said Manik Bhattacharya`s arrest was inevitable. "He was trying to evade the arrest by adopting a number of techniques, but ultimately could not avoid that," he said.

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