The CBI on Sunday arrested Tapas Mondal, former president of an association of West Bengal’s 625 private bachelor of education and diploma in elementary education colleges, and another man in connection with alleged irregularities in recruitments in government-aided schools across the state.
CBI officers said Mondal is known for his proximity to Manik Bhattacharya, a former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education and current Trinamul Congress MLA from Palashipara in Nadia, who was arrested in October last year.
They said Mondal and alleged associate Niladri Ghosh were summoned by the central agency on Sunday before they were arrested for alleged “non-cooperation”.
“Tapas Mondal did not answer several questions. He made partial revelations such as the contents of his diary, which are already in the public domain,” said an officer of the agency.
Mondal’s name had emerged as an alleged middleman who collected money from job aspirants and passed it on to Bhattacharya, CBI officers said.
He has been charged with money laundering and mentioned as an accused in the charge-sheet submitted by the Enforcement Directorate last year in connection with allegedly illegal recruitments for schools.
Ghosh, CBI officers said, is accused of contacting aspiring job candidates and collecting money from them.
Mondal’s name came to the forefront after the arrest of Trinamul Congress youth leader from Hooghly — Kuntal Ghosh — who, according to Mondal, took Rs 19 crore from him.
A CBI officer said: “Based on statements of Kuntal Ghosh, we have come across the names of a few candidates who reportedly got government jobs after bribing Mondal. We have found that some of these candidates have indeed been recruited. Although Mondal has denied the allegations, we will probe deeper and for that we need Mondal’s custody.”
CBI officers who did not wish to be named said they had seized three audio clips submitted by Kuntal Ghosh of a purported conversation between him and Mondal.
“These are subject to investigation,” an officer told The Telegraph on Sunday.
The CBI submitted a production warrant for Kuntal Ghosh before the court last week and got permission to seek his custody during production on Monday.
Mondal and Niladri Ghosh will be produced in court on Monday, along with Kuntal Ghosh.