KOLKATA: A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a rally in Kolkata raising alleged corruption issues against Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, the CBI on Thursday swung into action and conducted raids at eight places across the state.
A TMC MLA and two councilors of the ruling party-dominated civic bodies's houses were raided in connection with irregularities in recruitment in state-run schools.
The federal agency searched the house of Zakibul Islam, the MLA from Domkol in Murshidabad, and recovered cash of Rs 24 lakh which the central agency suspects proceeds of the crime.
While addressing the rally on Wednesday at the TMC’s signature venue to mark its annual Martyrs’ Day on July 21, Shah referred to the arrests of TMC ministers and heavyweights in connection with alleged scams. He also alleged that Bengal is gripped by corruption and said Didi aapka samay ab samapt ho chukka (Didi, your time is up now) while announcing that the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be implemented despite Mamata’s resistance and no one can stop it.
Sources in the CBI said Zakibul, who was also the chairman of Domkol municipality, has involvement with many educational institutions.
“The MLA’s name popped up during the interrogation of Manik Bhattacharya, another TMC legislator from Palashipara in Nadia who was arrested in July this year. Zakibul failed to come up with satisfactory explanations when he was asked about the source of Rs 24 lakh recovered from his residence,” said an officer of the federal agency.
The two houses that were raided by the CBI are owned by Bappaditya Majumdar of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Debraj Chakrabarty of Bidhannagar Municipality.
“We came to know about Majumdar’s name after interrogating former education minister Partha Chatterjee. We have come across leads indicating Majumdar's recommendations for jobs in schools in exchange for money,” said a CBI officer.
Chatterjee was arrested last year along with his aide Arpita Mukherjee who are presently languishing in jail by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A huge sum amounting to Rs 49 crore and jewelleries was recovered from Arpita’s two apartments which the investigating agency said proceeds of crime.