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Minister and Aparna quiz

Aparna Sen outside the ED office. (Mayukh Sengupta)

Calcutta, Aug. 18: The Enforcement Directorate today questioned filmmaker Aparna Sen and textiles minister Shyamapada Mukherjee in connection with the Saradha case.

Sources said the central agency questioned Aparna on her stint in a Bengali magazine owned by Saradha. Mukherjee was quizzed on the sale of a Bankura cement factory he co-owned to Saradha chief Sudipta Sen for Rs 2.81 crore in 2009, the sources added.

Aparna reached the ED office around 11am accompanied by her husband Kalyan Roy. The filmmaker came out of the building after six hours.

“I used to work in a magazine owned by the Saradha Group. No financial transaction was made through me. I have told the investigators I will cooperate for the sake of investigation…. I want the guilty to be punished,” Aparna told journalists.

According to an ED official, Aparna was the editor of Paroma for 21 months between 2011 and 2013. The magazine wound up after the Saradha scandal unfolded in 2013. A section of its staff was, however, hired by another company — Future Education and Research — which started a magazine called Prathama Ekhon with Aparna as the editor. Prathama Ekhon, too, shut down this June.

An ED official said the filmmaker submitted a copy of her contract, her salary documents, her bank statement and a few bounced cheques issued by Saradha.

Minister Mukherjee said he received Rs 46 lakh for the cement factory in Bankura.

“I had been given Rs 46 lakh for the cement company. I was asked to submit documents like my income-tax returns, the agreement for the sale of the factory and other papers. The cement company was sold way back in 2009 and I did not know Sudipta Sen then,” the minister told reporters.

He added that Sen had paid Rs 2.81 crore for the company, of which Rs 46 lakh was given to him and the remaining amount was used to clear bank “liabilities”.