Bengal ration distribution scam: ED arrests Minister Jyotipriya Mallick
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday has finally informed that their officials have arrested the current West Bengal Forest Minister and the former State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick in connection with the multi-crore ration distribution case, an official said.-
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday has finally informed that their officials have arrested the current West Bengal Forest Minister and the former State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick in connection with the multi-crore ration distribution case, an official said.
After nearly 20 hours of marathon raid and search operations at Mallick's Salt Lake residence in the northern outskirts in Kolkata that started even before 8 a.m. on Thursday, the Minister was brought from his residence at around 4 a.m. on Friday and it was informed that he is being taken to ED's central government office (CGO) complex in Salt Lake.
However, it was then not quite clear whether he had been arrested or being taken to the central agency office for further questioning.
At around 6 a.m. on Friday, the agency insiders informed that Mallick has been arrested. While entering the ED office on early Friday morning, Mallick claimed that he had been a victim of an "excellent conspiracy" framed against him by the BJP.
After former State Education Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislator Partha Chatterjee, Mallick is the second member of the West Bengal cabinet to be arrested by the central agency sleuths in relation to alleged money laundering scam.
Mallick is the fourth TMC legislator after Chatterjee, Manik Bhattacharya and Jiban Krishna Saha to be taken into custody by the central agency sleuths.
While the other three were arrested because of their alleged involvement in the cash-for-school job case in West Bengal, Mallick has been arrested in connection with the central agency's investigation in the ration distribution case that happened during his previous tenure as the State Food and Supplies Minister from 2011 to 2021.
While Chatterjee, Bhattacharya and Mallick were arrested by the ED sleuths, Saha was arrested by their counterparts in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Mallick's name surfaced in the ration distribution case during the course of examination of different documents seized by the ED from the residence and office of Kolkata-based businessman Bakibur Rahman, who was recently arrested by the agency in the matter.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, has threatened to file FIR against ED officials if there is any negative effect on the Minister's health as "he is suffering from high blood-sugar and is not in proper health condition".