CBI raids Bengal law minister Moloy Ghatak in coal scam case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Wednesday raided at least five houses of West Bengal law and labour minister Molay Ghatak in Kolkata and Asansol in connection with the alleged coal smuggling scam.
The raid was carried out at Moloy Ghatak's residence after he failed to appear before the central probe agency despite being summoned several times.
Early on Sunday morning, Ghatak's two residences in Asansol and one in Chelidanga were cordoned off by a number of central forces deployed late at night. A six-member CBI team reached Ghatak's Asansol house on Tuesday morning. Later, they also moved to Alipore, Lake Gardens, and near Raj Bhavan.
At the time of the raid, Moloy Ghatak was not at his house. However, his wife is currently inside his ancestral Asansol home, sources said.
“CBI sleuths are checking the house,” Subodh Mondal, who is one of Ghatak’s private staff members, told India Today.
Notably, Ghatak is under the ED's radar concerning the probe into the coal scam, along with TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee.
In August, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee was also summoned to appear at ED headquarters for questioning in the case. Abhishek's wife Rujira and Ghatak were called in at the same time. Abhishek Banerjee was grilled in the CGO complex in Salt Lake.
For a recap, CBI initiated a probe into the multi-crore coal pilferage related to Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in West Bengal's Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol in November 2020. Anup Majhi, a local coal operator is named the prime suspect in the massive scam. Bankura police station's former Inspector in-charge Ashok Kumar Mishra and TMC youth wing leader and close aide to Abhishek Banerjee, Vinay Mishra, and his brother Vikas Mishra have also been detained in the case.
The Trinamool Congress is faced with a raft of cases against senior party leaders. In August, the ED and the CBI arrested Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal in the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam and alleged cattle smuggling case, respectively.