September 3, 2021 1:41:17 am
THE ENFORCEMENT Directorate (ED) has summoned West Bengal Minister Moloy Ghatak in connection with its ongoing probe into a coal pilferage case. The agency is investigating the money-laundering aspect of the case, sources said, adding that Ghatak has been asked to appear before it on September 14 in Delhi.
The agency had recently summoned Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee. In her response to the ED, Rujira said that she was unable to go to Delhi, citing the pandemic situation.
The ED had earlier arrested Vikash Mishra, brother of Vinay Mishra, who it said had links with TMC leaders. A West Bengal police officer, Ashok Mishra, was also subsequently arrested in the case. He was inspector in-charge of Bankura Police station and was posted there for nearly three years, sources said. It is alleged that he was involved in financial transactions with coal smugglers.
In response to the ED summons to Abhishek and Rujira, Mamata lashed out at the BJP-led Centre and accused them of “political vendetta”.
“They have failed to fight the TMC politically and therefore using central agencies such as CBI and ED against Abhishek. If I want, I can send bagful of evidence showing how BJP leaders looted Bengal’s coal region,” she said during a virtual meeting with TMC youth wing on its foundation day.
In November last year, the CBI had filed a case under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. It is related to alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from the Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL).The FIR lists several senior ECL officials and unidentified officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Railways and other government departments. The ED subsequently initiated a separate probe into the case.
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