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ED raids continue in West Bengal

Kolkata:  The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids at 12 locations in connection with the multi-crore cash-for-municipalities recruitment scam...

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids at 12 locations in connection with the multi-crore cash-for-municipalities recruitment scam in West Bengal have been continuing since early Thursday.

The raids started simultaneously at 12 locations from around 5 a.m., and each team of the raiding ED sleuths was escorted by armed personnel from central armed police forces personnel.

The important places where the raids are continuing include the residences of the state food & supplies minister and former chairman of Madhyamgram Municipality Rathin Ghosh; Kamarhati Municipality chairman Gopal Saha; Baranagar Municipality chairman Aparna Moulik and South Dum Dum Municipality vice- chairman Nitai Dutta, among others. All these four municipalities are in North 24 Parganas district.

Sources said that besides conducting raid and search operations, the central agency sleuths are also questioning Ghosh about his knowledge of the recruitments in Madhyamgram Municipality as he was the erstwhile chairman here.

As per ED estimates of the many urban civic bodies scattered throughout the state that are under the central agency scanner because of the recruitment irregularities there, the maximum is from North 24 Parganas district.

Ghosh has questioned the timing of the raid and search operations which are coinciding with the Trinamool Congress’ announcement of the ‘March to Raj Bhavan’ agitation in Kolkata as a mark of protest against the Delhi Police over its action on the elected party representatives at Krishi Bhavan in Delhi on Tuesday evening.

“ED raids have become a common factor in West Bengal. However, the outcomes of such raid and search operations are generally zero. But this will not affect our ‘March to Raj Bhavan’ programme,” he said

Ghosh’s name came up in the case after incriminating documents procured by the ED showed his involvement when he was the chairman of Madhyamgram Municipality in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

Ghosh’s name surfaced following incriminating documents seized by ED sleuths from ABS Infozone, the agency outsourced by different municipalities in the state for conducting the recruitment examination process there, which indicated massive irregularities in the recruitment process in Madhyamgram Municipality between 2014 and 2018.

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