News Brief

ED Officers' Assault Case: Acting Director Reaches Bengal To Evaluate Ration Scam Probe, Accused TMC Leader Is On Run

Nishtha Anushree

Jan 09, 2024, 12:44 PM | Updated 12:44 PM IST

An Enforcement Directorate office.
An Enforcement Directorate office.

Acting Enforcement Director Rahul Navin will evaluate the investigation into the supposed scam of public distribution and paddy procurement, The Hindu reported.

He will also address the security issues faced by the local Enforcement Directorate (ED) establishment due to the attacks on the central probe agency's search teams in West Bengal, according to official sources on Tuesday (9 January).

The in-charge of the ED, who arrived in Bengal at midnight, is also anticipated to visit the wounded officials. This visit is scheduled to happen on Tuesday, in conjunction with senior officials from the agency's regional office in Kolkata, according to sources.

He might also plan to visit Governor CV Ananda Bose at Raj Bhavan, who too expressed worries on the matter and suspected that TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh, who is the main suspect in the assault case on ED officials, may have "crossed the border".

On 5 January, when three Enforcement Directorate officials arrived in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas district, to conduct a search at the premises of the TMC leader, they were injured and their personal belongings such as mobiles, laptops, and wallets were "looted".

At present, Sheikh is on the run, with the ED issuing a lookout circular against him. This notice alerts all terrestrial, aerial, and maritime ports to prevent his departure from the country.

Another team from the agency came under attack and their vehicle sustained damage while apprehending another TMC leader, Shankar Adhya, in Bongaon within the same district on the same day.

In a press release, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) stated that the scale of this "scam" was "enormous", with the accused supposedly transferring crime proceeds amounting to Rs 9,000-10,000 crore. It is believed that Rs 2,000 crore of this sum may have been sent to Dubai either directly or via Bangladesh.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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