KOLKATA: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Sujay Krishna Bhadra for his alleged involvement in the illegal appointments made in different state-run and aided schools in West Bengal, an official said. Bhadra, popularly known as "Kalighat er Kaku" (Uncle from Kalighat), was arrested on Tuesday night following a 12-hour-long grilling at the ED's office here in connection with their ongoing investigation into the scam.
"He did not cooperate with our officers during the questioning. We tried a lot to get answers to some relevant questions connected to the jobs scam," an ED official told PTI over the phone. Bhadra appeared before the ED after he was notified by the central investigating agency last week. He had earlier appeared a couple of times before the CBI, which is also running a parallel investigation into the recruitment scam.
The Trinamool Congress declined to react to the arrest but wondered whether the arrest was a part of diverting attention from the political narrative of lone Congress MLA Bayron Biswas joining the TMC. "Yesterday, lone Congress MLA Bayron Biswas had joined the TMC. The joining had led to panic in the opposition camp of BJP, CPI(M) and Congress. Maybe this arrest was made to divert attention from that narrative," TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
The BJP, however, said this is the most significant arrest in the School Service Commission (SSC) scam so far. "This is the most significant arrest in the SSC scam so far. The law is finally inching closer to nabbing the mastermind and the biggest beneficiaries. The list of TMC leaders involved in corruption is long," state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, too, said the day is not far when "top TMC leaders will be behind bars".
The ED has so far arrested West Bengal's former education minister Partha Chatterjee, his friend, and several top education department officials for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore scam. The CBI has also arrested TMC MLAs Jiban Krishna Saha and Manik Bhattacharya in connection with the investigation. Bhattacharya is a former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. The TMC has suspended Chatterjee from the party and sacked him from the state cabinet. The party is, however, yet to take any action against Bhattacharya. The CBI and the ED are investigating the case and the alleged money trail involved in it on court orders.