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West Bengal: ED searches residence of TMC minister Chandranath Sinha, earlier summoned in Coal and Cattle smuggling cases, in SSC scam

The CBI has previously called Chandranath Sinha in relation to the scams involving the smuggling of coal and animals.

On 22nd March, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched All India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC) leader and West Bengal minister Chandranath Sinha’s home in Bolpur, West Bengal’s Birbhum district. The central agency is conducting the raids as part of its investigation into the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam. After arriving at his place at around 9:15 in the morning, the ED team began the raid with the support of a significant number of central forces. The state minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and textiles wasn’t home at the time.

According to sources, Sinha, who was approximately 90 kilometres away at the ancestral residence in Murarai in the same district, however, returned to his home as soon as he heard about the news of the raid. Sinha’s two sons and wife were also questioned by the ED. The raid continued for over nine hours.

“The search is in connection with the investigation of the alleged irregularities in the school recruitment scam. The minister is not present at his residence, we are talking to his family,” informed an officer. Chandranath Sinha assured reporters he would assist the investigators as he was going for Bolpur. “I have never been associated with any corruption and have not done any wrong. I learnt about the raid from my son. Unless I reach there and talk to them I will not be able to tell what is happening. I will cooperate with them in every possible way,” he claimed.

The CBI has previously called Chandranath Sinha in relation to the scams involving the smuggling of coal and animals. According to authorities, the ED was also conducting simultaneous searches at the homes of a few businesses in various parts of Kolkata including Lake Town, Chetla, and Ballygunge concerning the SSC scam. An officer said, “They were suspected to be helping in transferring funds illegally from India to other countries. We are talking to them, and looking into some documents.”

CBI raids TMC leader Mahua Moitra’s residence

Earlier in the day, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids at Trinamool Congress leader and former Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra’s house in the cash for query case. The CBI filed a formal complaint (FIR) against her on 21st March following orders from Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman. The Lokpal had given the agency directions after examining the results of the CBI’s preliminary investigation into the accusations made against her by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey. The Lokpal granted the CBI six months to thoroughly look into every aspect of the complaints made against her.

Mahua Moitra was expelled by the Lok Sabha on 8th December 8th in accordance with the Ethics Committee’s recommendations in a cash-for-query case. The development transpired hours after the Ethics Committee report was presented to the lower house.

Nishkant Dubey wrote to the ethics committee, requesting an investigation into Mahua Moitra on the “cash for query” controversy. He based his complaint on a letter from Supreme Court attorney Jai Anant Dehadrai, who said that businessman Darshan Hiranandani benefited directly or indirectly from the majority of the questions posed by the TMC MP in the Lok Sabha. An additional layer of intrigue to the matter was created when Jai Ananad Dehadrai accused Mahua of “kidnapping” his pet dog “Henry” which was eventually returned.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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