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ED interrogates arrested West Bengal minister's aides in ration 'scam'

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday interrogated associates of West Bengal minister Jyoti Priya Mallick who was arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the state’s public distribution system, officials said.

Mallick, 66, who held the food and supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, is at present the state’s forest minister. He was arrested in the early hours of Friday in a money laundering case linked to the alleged multi-crore ration distribution scam.

His former personal assistant Amit De and his close aide Abhijit Das were interrogated by the investigators on Saturday, officials said.

Das was quizzed about a diary that was seized from his residence in Howrah during searches, they said.

‘The diary has details of some transactions. It also contains names of different bogus companies used to re-route funds,’ an officer said.

The diary has ‘Balu’ scribbled on its cover, as well as some of the pages inside it, he added.

“We are questioning Das about the identity of ‘Balu’, and why he was maintaining this diary. He is also being grilled about his bank accounts and how he has been involved with the minister,” the ED officer said.

Mallick is more popularly known as ‘Balu’, his nickname, in the state’s political circles.

(Published 28 October 2023, 16:46 IST)

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