In a two-pronged strike by the two central agencies working in tandem to untangle the criminal and money laundering angles in connection with the teacher recruitment, cattle smuggling and coal pilferage scams, as the CBI probing the cattle smuggling case today arrested Trinamul Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money trail in the coal pilferage scam today issued summons to eight IPS and five IAS officers of the state seeking their deposition at its Delhi offices between 22 and 31 August over coal pilferage and illegal mining scam.
The eight IPS officers, claimed a source in ED, included Gyanwant Singh, Shyam Singh, Rajib Mishra, Tathagata Basu, Sukesh Jain, Koteswar Rao, Selva Murugan and Bhaskar Mukherjee. One of the five IAS officers is B.P. Gopalika, currently the additional chief secretary to the state personnel & administrative reforms department, which is directly under the control of the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The remaining four IAS officers are posted at senior positions in West Bengal’s two districts West Burdwan and Purulia – perceived to be the epicentres of the coal smuggling. All the officers, according to the source, had been summoned to Delhi for interrogation on separate dates beginning 22 August.
The summons, claimed the source, was based on the leads gathered following interrogation of other accused and witnesses in the alleged coal pilferage and illegal mining case. A source quoting an official of the agency, claimed that since the ED had found enough evidence of their alleged links with the beneficiaries, the agency had issued the summons.
Earlier too the agency had quizzed several of the IPS officers, who were issued summons today. They included Murugan and Gyanwant Singh. In July this year, the CBI, the agency which is too probing the scam simultaneously with the ED had arrested seven officials including a serving general manger of the ECL in connection with their allegedly being among the beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime in the coal pilferage case.
Seven ECL officials were arrested in July this year following marathon interrogation at its Nizam Palace office in Kolkata after several inconsistencies and contradictions surfaced in their statements. The CBI had earlier arrested Gurupada Majhi, Joydeb Mandol, Naran Kharka and Nirod Mandol in connection with the case.
The CBI and ED both had quizzed Trinamul Congress national general secretary and MP and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee in connection with the case.