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Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
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KOLKATA: A 20-hour interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) culminated in the arrest of Bengal cabinet minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee at 2.10am on Saturday and his alleged “close associate” Arpita Mukherjee later in the day, capping a run of events starting with Friday’s swoop on the latter’s south Kolkata apartment that yielded a cash stash of Rs 21.9 crore.
The twin arrests and the seizures from nail artist-turned-model-and-actor Arpita’s home, including gold worth Rs 74 lakh, Rs 54 lakh in foreign currency and property deeds of eight apartments, are linked to the ED’s probe into a jobs-for-cash scam in the school education department that minister Chatterjee used to head until a portfolio rejig.
Chatterjee told reporters while being escorted out of his residence in south Kolkata’s Naktala a little after 10am that he had “tried contacting” CM Mamata Banerjee “but couldn’t get in touch with her”. The minister was taken to ESI Hospital at Joka on the city’s outskirts for a medical examination and thereafter produced at Bankshall Court, which remanded him in ED custody for two days.

partha (3)

Chatterjee was shifted to SSKM Hospital in the evening, by which time his alleged aide was in custody. ED sources said Arpita confessed during interrogation that the cash found in her home had been collected by “agents” from job aspirants and was meant to be distributed among many takers, including senior bureaucrats and politicians. The currency was stashed in envelopes marked “On India Government Service” and “Minister in charge”, they said. The RBI sent more than 20 trunks to ferry the seized cash.

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