West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee was today arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case linked to the alleged teacher recruitment scam in the state.
The arrest comes hours after Rs 20 crore was recovered from a close aide of the minister.
The Trinamool leader was questioned throughout the night following the recovery of the cash. During the questioning, Mr Chatterjee did not co-operate with the investigators as a result of which he was arrested, official sources told NDTV.
“Partha Chatterjee was arrested after overnight interrogation. During questioning, Mr Chatterjee complained of uneasiness following which his health was examined by two doctors brought by the investigators. The questioning resumed after the doctors gave a go-ahead,” an official source told NDTV.
The source added that the probe agency will seek his custody before the court to get further details about the alleged recruitment scam.
Currently, industries and commerce minister, Mr Chatterjee held the education portfolio when the alleged scam was pulled off.
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday recovered ₹ 20 crore in cash from the house of an associate of Partha Chatterjee.
“The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC scam,” the probe agency said in a statement.
More than 20 mobile phones were recovered from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee.
Apart from the Enforcement Directorate, or ED, the alleged scam is being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation. While the ED is looking into the money trail in the scam, the CBI is investigating the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group-C and D staff and teachers in state-sponsored and aided schools.
The ruling Trinamool Congress described the raids as a “ploy” by the BJP government at the Centre to “harass” its political opponents. Denying any role to play in the issue, the BJP has claimed the CBI and ED are “progressing on right path” and that “more skeletons will tumble out of the cupboard”.