The CM threatened FIRs over Mallick’s safety.
The former Food Minister of West Bengal, who is currently the Forest Affairs Minister, Jyotipriya Mallick got arrested today on October 27 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged scam in ration distribution. The minister, his personal assistant, and his chartered accountant in Kolkata and Howrah were among the several natives searched for 21 hours before he was taken into custody early on Friday morning. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act was used to conduct this action.
Mallick was taken into custody around at 3:34 A.M. in the morning from his house that was under raid since the morning of October 23. “I am a victim of a serious conspiracy”, Jyotipriya Mallik said in his first statement after being taken into custody “this is all I can say for the time being”. Mallick was previously the minister of food and civil supplies of the state and in the timeline of being alleged and arrested, he was assigned as the forest minister.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamta Banerjee sharply slammed the Union government on Thursday, while the raid was still going on, for allegedly “misusing government agencies” to further a spiteful goal and disseminate fake information about those who are critical of the administration. If Mallick suffered any harm as a result of the searches at his home, Mamata Banerjee had threatened to forward the BJP and ED to the police. Mallick was ill, she had said. The CM had also purported that the raids went ahead even though with lack of evidence of malfeasance.
In relation to a suspected incidence of corruption in ration distribution, the ED has been conducting the searches. Mallick was brought from his house in the Salt Lake neighbourhood in Kolkata’s suburbs to the central agency’s headquarters, according to ED authorities. They claimed he will be brought before the local court, where the ED will ask to have custody of him.
Jyotipriya Mallick passed out in the courtroom during the court session shortly after he was arrested. He was then carried to a balcony right away and given water to drink and rushed to the city hospital.
Mallick, who is also a patient with diabetes and a number of other illnesses, was brought to an ESI hospital in the city’s southern region Joka, where he is currently receiving medical testing, according to an ED officer. “The state minister is undergoing medical testing. These are regular tests”, the ED officer continued telling PTI, “we will take him to court so we can ask for his custody. “A conspiracy exists”, Mallick declared, “the BJP is aggressively hatching evil plans against us”.
Concerning ED officials, they feel that Mallick has important knowledge about purported irregularities in ration distribution, but his evasive answers and contradiction during interrogation raise serious concerns. The ED earlier arrested Bakibur Rahman, Mallick’s colleague, and may choose to question both of them in order to get a full confession.
Mallick claims that Suvendu Adhikari, his erstwhile TMC colleague, and the BJP are involved in a conspiracy. After the arrest of Partha Chatterjee in a case involving a school job fraud last year, his detention represents the second time that a TMC cabinet member has been taken into custody by federal agencies on allegations of corruption. The distribution of food grains during the COVID-19 lockdowns and observed inefficiencies in the public distribution system are at the core of the purported swindle.