Arrested Trinamul Congress youth leader Kuntal Ghosh had links with former education minister Partha Chatterjee and Manik Bhattacharya, former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, and used to send them money collected from candidates for school jobs, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a supplementary chargesheet filed on Tuesday.
The 104-page chargesheet against Ghosh comes within 60 days of his arrest from a Chinar Park apartment in New Town in northeast Kolkata and has statements of at least 18 witnesses, ED officials said.
“The supplementary chargesheet has been filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). We have attached with the chargesheet several statements and documentary evidence to underline the involvement of Ghosh in the case,” said an official in the central agency.
Ghosh, who is in judicial custody like Chatterjee and Bhattacharya, was arrested on January 21 after a 24-hour search at his house.
Ghosh came under the scanner following an allegation made by Tapas Mondal, who is said to be an associate of Bhattacharya, that the youth leader from Balagarh in Hooghly had received over Rs 19.44 crore from 2016 to 2021 from candidates after promising them jobs in government-aided schools.
Mondal is in custody, too, in connection with alleged irregularities in appointments in schools. The chargesheet refers to Rs 2 crore of unaccounted for money allegedly linked to Ghosh, of which around Rs 1 crore was in cash and the rest was linked to properties owned by him, officials said.
It also mentions Ghosh’s alleged links with Santanu Banerjee, an arrested zilla parishad member and Trinamul youth leader from Hooghly, and Ayan Sil, a businessman who allegedly ran a company that was involved in printing codes for OMR sheets used in recruitment tests for appointment in government schools.
Officers probing Sil’s alleged links to the job scam said the businessman had played a key role in recruitments in several municipal bodies near Kolkata. The recruitment tests used OMR sheets whose codes were printed by a company allegedly run by Sil, officials said. ED released pictures of the OMR sheets on its Twitter handle on Tuesday. “ED carried out search operations & arrested Ayan Sil, in the Teacher Recruitment Scam of WB on 20.3.23 & produced him before PMLA Court. Court has granted his ED custody for 13 days. During the searches various incriminating documents/electronic records/devices have been seized,” the agency tweeted.