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Letters to stop scam probe

Calcutta, Sept 8: A senior food and supplies department official had allegedly written to the enforcement branch additional director-general asking him to stop raids to unearth the paddy scam in which around Rs 200 crore is said to have changed hands.

The Telegraph has a copy of one of the letters Kalyani Chaudhuri wrote to Bhupinder Singh — on August 24, 2006 — asking him to stop raids on silos across the state.

Enforcement raids on Food Corporation of India and West Bengal State Consumer’s Cooperative Federation (Confed) silos had unearthed the scam.

Asked about the letters from Chaudhuri, additional chief secretary and commissioner, food and supplies department, minister Paresh Adhikary declined comment.

“How can the head of a department write such a letter' I have already replied to her saying that the EB under clause 12 of the government notification 2005 can investigate irregularities in a government department,” said Singh.

In a letter dated August 31, Chaudhuri also wrote “Confed was preparing to move to the high court” against the enforcement branch.

Confed officials had allegedly flouted all norms of paddy procurement, denying farmers the minimum price stipulated by the government.

“The chief secretary has asked EB to go ahead with the probe. We cannot understand why officials of the department are putting pressure on the EB,” said Singh.

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