An Enforcement Directorate (ED) team late Thursday night arrested sitting West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress leader, Jyotripriya Mallik, in connection with an alleged case of corruption in the public distribution system.
The arrest came a day after the ED conducted searches at Mr Mallick’s residence in Salt Lake, on the outskirts of Kolkata.
As media persons jostled and gathered around the minister while he was being whisked away by the ED sleuths, with the help of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel, the minister said he was the “victim of a grave conspiracy”.
“West Bengal minister Jyotipriya Mallick has been arrested by ED in connection with an alleged case of corruption in rationing distribution,” the agency stated in an official release.
“I am the victim of a grave conspiracy,” the arrested minister was heard telling media persons while he was being escorted out of his Salt Lake residence.
The ED has been carrying out searches in connection with an alleged case of corruption in ration distribution.
Mr Mallick is currently the state minister for Forest Affairs and previously held the portfolio for the Food and Civil Supplies department.
Till the time of filing this report, the ruling Trinamool Congress, led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had not responded to the arrest of its minister.
Earlier this year, the ED had arrested former West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee, in connection with the teachers’ recruitment scam, after the recovery of huge cash from the latter’s residence.
Both are facing a probe into the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, according to the ED.
The TMC’s Burbhum district president Anubrata Mondal had also been arrested earlier in connection with a cattle smuggling case.
The chief minister’s nephew and the TMC’s heavyweight leader, Abhishek Banerjee, has also been summoned and questioned by the ED on many occasions in connection with an alleged coal ‘scam’ case.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)