Bankura police officer Ashok Mishra was on Saturday arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). As per police sources, his arrest was made over his alleged involvement as an officer-in-charge in the Bengal Coal Scam which the agency has been probing. Before his arrest, the inspector in question had appeared before the ED at its office. This is the second arrest made in the coal smuggling case.
His name was first taken by Bikas Mishra, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra's brother, who was arrested last month from Delhi by the ED in connection with the scam. Ashok Mishra came under the scanner for being in touch with Vinay Mishra and allegedly facilitating him in the smuggling. The Bankura cop was also questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for two consecutive days.
It is important to know that Vinay Mishra is allegedly close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee and is also an accused in the Cattle Smuggling Case. He is currently absconding. The CBI had issued an arrest warrant against him followed by a non-bailable warrant issued by a Kolkata court.
On February 23, CBI questioned the wife of Abhishek Banerjee, Rujira Narula, in connection with the Coal Scam. Arriving at the TMC MP's residence with a notice, the Kolkata CBI officers had asked Banerjee's wife to join the probe. In response, she asked the CBI to probe her at their home. Just before the CBI was to interrogate Rujira, WB CM Mamata Banerjee had turned up at their residence in a show of support. The CBI has also conducted several raids across the state since last year.
Meanwhile, Republic TV on Saturday accessed tapes of alleged conversations between an unknown individual and Coal Scam accused Anup Majhi's aide Ganesh Bagaria, exposing the 'syndicate culture' in the West Bengal Government. In the unverified tapes, Bagaria is heard describing the syndicate which runs the coal smuggling business in the state since 2012.
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