Kolkata, Oct 27 (UNI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested West Bengal Forest Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Jyotipriya Mallick in the wee hours on Friday from his Salt Lake residence after marathon grilling in connection with alleged multi-crore ration distribution scam in the state.
Mallick was first taken to the CGO Complex, and subsequently he was taken to the ESI Hospital for a health check-up, following which he will be produced in court.
After the arrest, Mallick said, ” I’m victim of deep conspiracy.”
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted raids at the flats of Mallick at Salt Lake and his former private assistant’s houses at Nager Bazar in Dum Dum simultaneously.
The raids began at least in eight places following the arrest of businessman Bakibur Rahaman, who
allegedly has a link with the minister. sources added.
The raids are being conducted following the alleged irregularities in ration distributions during the pandemic period when Mallick was the State Food Supplies Minister.
Sources said besides the raids were being conducted simultaneously in two flats of Mallick at Salt Lake (Kolkata) areas, two other flats of Dey at Vivekananda Road ( Nager Bazar in Dum Dum) and another house of Dey at Bhagabati Park, also in Nager Bazar.
Raids were being conducted in three other places.
They said the ED, probing the money trails of the alleged irregularities in the statutory ration distribution system, has information that the arrested businessman Bakibur Rahaman has huge businesses in Bengal, Mumbai and even in Dubai with worth near 100 crores of rupees.
Sources said Bakibur had rapport with minister Mallick when he was the state food supplies minister in the previous Mamata Banerjee government. After the win in the 2021 assembly poll, Mallick was shifted to Department of Forest Affairs and Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy sources.
Mallick represents Habra assembly segment in the North 24 Parganas.
The ED few months ago had raided the residence of present food minister Rathin Ghosh, also in North 24 Parganas.