North India

WBSSC scam: Manik Bhattacharya surfaces after look out notice, says will cooperate

Bhattacharya is wanted by the (CBI) and the (ED) in connection with his alleged involvement in the irregularities in the recruitment of primary teachers in West Bengal.

Kolkata: After a Look Out Notice was issued against him, Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya surfaced on Friday.

Bhattacharya is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with his alleged involvement in the irregularities in the recruitment of primary teachers in West Bengal.

Late Thursday evening, the Look Out Notice was issued against him following complaints by the CBI and ED that he was neither available at any of his residences in Kolkata and Nadia nor accessible on his mobile.

However, from Friday morning, Bhattacharya’s mobile was switched on again and the mediapersons were able to get in touch with him again.

“I cannot say anything about the Look Out Notice. I will also not make any comment on the case. But I am at my residence at Jadavpur in South Kolkata. I will fully cooperate with the central agencies in the future also as I have done before,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state government and Trinamool Congress have started distancing themselves from Bhattacharya. On Thursday, the state government had taken a decision to withdraw the security arrangements that Bhattacharya was entitled to as an elected legislator. The state cabinet sources said that there were possibilities of removing him from all the standing committees of the state Assembly where he is a member.

“The teachers’ recruitment scam is something in which our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to adopt a zero tolerance stand. Previously, the same zero tolerance stand was adopted in the case of Partha Chatterjee. So, no exception will be made about Bhattacharya,” said a member of the state cabinet on strict condition of anonymity.

Bhattacharya was removed from the post of WBBPE President following an order issued by the Calcutta High Court, which also ordered the CBI probe into the primary teachers’ recruitment scam. Later, the CBI roped in the ED in the probe to investigate the money trail.

The high court had also ordered immediate cancellation of the appointment of 269 candidates as primary teachers and observed that these candidates secured jobs despite not qualifying in the written examination, while some of them did not even appear for the same.

The court also said that the agency sleuths probing the matter cannot be transferred till the time the investigation is complete.


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