ED arrests West Bengal minister Partha Chatterji after 24-hr grilling

ED arrests West Bengal minister Partha Chatterji after 24-hr grilling

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials probing the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam arrested state minister and the Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Saturday morning. Before being arrested, Chatterjee was grilled for almost 24 hours at his residence after at Naktala in South Kolkata, sources said.

A decision to this effect was taken after Chatterjee went into a total non-cooperation mode following the recovery of Rs 20 crore and 20 mobile phones from his close aide Arpita Mukherjee’s residence on Friday.

After that, Chatterjee dodged questions especially those related to his close links with Arpita Mukherjee. Finally at around 10.15 am.

Arpita Mukherjee has also been detained for questioning. Like Chatterjee, Arpita Mukherjee also has started ducking questions on the recovery of cash from her residence, sources said.

Early this morning, the ED sleuths in Kolkata communicated to their higher officials in New Delhi about the non-cooperation from Chatterjee, currently the West Bengal commerce and industries minister. The ED officials in Kolkata also stressed on interrogating him after taking him into custody.

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After a green signal from ED headquarters, Chatterjee was arrested and taken by the central agency officials to its office at CGO complex at Salt Lake in the northern outskirts of Kolkata.

Chatterjee’s counsel, Anindya Raut confirmed the arrest of his client. “However, the ED officials are yet to communicate to me about the grounds on which Partha Chatterjee has been arrested. They have asked me to reach the ED office at Salt Lake, where they will hand over the detailed arrest- related papers,” Raut said.

ED sources said that after being taken to CGO complex, Chatterjee will face another round of grilling by the ED officials, where he will be given the last chance to divulge whatever he knows about the scam or about the huge cash recovery from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee. After that, he will be presented at a court. The Trinamool Congress leadership was, however, silent over the issue.