ED wants to know about Shantiniketan trouble, asks whether there was financial transaction involved

Enforcement Directorate, the Central government’s law enforcement, economic intelligence and investigating agency that probes financial crimes has expressed interest in learning how trouble broke out in Shantiniketan on Monday.

With this, a new dimension has now been added to the vandalism case in the Shantiniketan Poush Mela grounds. There was trouble at the campus in Birbhum district as hundreds of local people bulldozed a fence and ransacked the area on which a boundary wall was being set up. Trinamool Congress MLA from Dubrajpur, Naresh Bauri, was allegedly present when the ransacking took place. Vishwa Bharati authorities had lodged a first information report against nine persons, naming Bauri along with some local traders. Some traders too filed an FIR against the university authorities alleging harassment.

The ED has now written to the Vishwa Bharati authorities and the district police superintendent asking for the case details, including the FIRs. The ED is curious about whether there is “financial transaction” involved in the ransacking, as hundreds of people landed up at the site. They came in vehicles and used machines to destroy walls and gates that are Vishwa Bharati property. ED officials also mentioned that the FIR names “influential people”, and what their role may have been in all this. The ED also wants to know the Vishwa Bharati authorities’ views on the matter.

Meanwhile the Vishwa Bharati authorities remained absent from the meeting called by the district administration in Shantiniketan to resolve matters. According to sources, the university authorities refrained from joining the meeting as they wanted it to be held in their own area/campus. They were also unhappy about the list compiled and about those present at the meeting. With the Vishwa Bharati authorities remaining absent, the matter could not be resolved in Wednesday’s meeting.

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