The CBI will question Trinamul Youth Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh and Tapas Mondal, both arrested in connection with alleged irregularities in school recruitments, about an alleged network that would ask candidates for money in return for a school teacher’s job, officers said on Monday.
Mondal, who was arrested on Sunday, was produced with co-accused Niladri Ghosh and Kuntal Ghosh in a CBI court. They were remanded in CBI custody till February 23.
Kuntal had been in judicial custody since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 21 for his alleged role in the recruitment irregularities. This is the first time the CBI will get to question him in its custody.
“A few leads have emerged after questioning Tapas Mondal. We now want to interrogate him in the presence of Kuntal Ghosh. Mondal had once accused Kuntal of siphoning off several crores of rupees,” said a senior CBI officer.
Mondal was president of the All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association, an umbrella organisation of private colleges offering diploma in elementary education courses, when he allegedly came in contact with Kuntal.
Mondal apparently told ED and CBI sleuths that he paid Kuntal over Rs 19 crore for 325 candidates who had applied for the post of assistant teacher in state-aided schools in 2014.
The Trinamul leader allegedly said Mondal framed him because he refused to pay close to Rs 50 lakh that Mondal had demanded.
“Tapas Mondal and Kuntal Ghosh both were part of a system. They were involved in collecting several lakhs of rupees from each of the candidates who had approached them for a schoolteacher’s job,” the officer said.
Mondal’s lawyers told the court he had responded to the summons on all occasions. “Then why was he arrested?” the lawyer asked.
Mondal is known for his proximity to Manik Bhattacharya, a former chairman of the state primary education board and a current Trinamul MLA. Bhattacharya was arrested in October last year in connection with the recruitments scam.
A CBI team on Monday turned up at the house of a retired bank employee in Baranagar whose name allegedly surfaced when sleuths questioned Chandan Mondal, another accused in the recruitment case.