Rs 20 crore cash seized from house of minister Partha Chatterjee’s associate

Suspected "proceeds of crime" of the SSC scam, says ED.

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday recovered Rs 20 crore in cash from the house of an associate of West Bengal commerce and industries and Information Technology minister Partha Chatterjee. The ED raided the house of Arpita Mukherjee in Kolkata in connection with an alleged teacher recruitment in School Service Commission (SSC) scam. Chatterjee was earlier the education minister when the scam allegedly took place.

ED officers reached the house of Chatterjee on Friday morning and continue to question him for over 24 hours. They are still in the house of the minister in Naktala, questioning him. On Friday, during the questioning, Chatterjee said he was feeling unwell, and a group of doctors from the state-run SSKM Hospital were taken to his house. They examined him and left after a few hours.

The ED on Friday evening released a statement which stated: “The said amount in suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC scam.” The probe agency took the assistance of bank officials and counted the cash through machines. Notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 recovered during the raid could be seen in photographs. Also, about 20 mobile phones were recovered from Arpita Mukherjee’s house. Investigators are looking at the purpose for which these phones were used.

Simultaneous raids were conducted in the houses of the minister of state for education Paresh Adhikary, MLA Manik Bhattacharya, the house of a relative of the minister’s son-in-law and others.

Two state ministers – Firhad Hakim and Chandrima Bhattacharya – said that the raids were a “revenge” by the ruling BJP to “harass” Bengal’s ruling party as the Trinamool Congress had attacked the Centre and its ruling party BJP from its Martyrs’ Day programme. However, one of Trinamool’s spokespersons Kunal Ghosh said that the party should not be attacked for this and the persons concerned will have to take the responsibility.

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