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CBI Searches West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim And TMC MLA Madan Mitra’s Residences

CBI Searches West Bengal Minister’s House: The residences of senior West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim and TMC MLA Madan Mitra were raided by the CBI on Sunday in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in recruitments made by civic bodies. The central agency conducted searches at 12 locations in different parts of the state, said the officials. Firhad Hakim is the Minister Of Urban Development And Municipal Affairs and also the mayor of Kolkata. His residence in south Kolkata’s Chetla area was raided by a team of CBI officers who reached along with a large contingent of central forces in the morning, said the officials.

“Two CBI officers are questioning him,” a senior official said.

Hakim’s supporters gathered outside his house and began a protest against the CBI raids while a CBI team also searched the residence of TMC MLA Madan Mitra, a former minister and the MLA of Kamarhati in North 24 Parganas district, in Bhabanipur area.

“The investigations have revealed that Mitra had a specific role in the recruitments made in Kamarhati Municipality,” the official claimed.

The houses of the former chairman of Kanchrapara Municipality Sudama Roy, ex-chairman of Halisahar Municipality Angshuman Roy, and Krishnanagar Municipality’s former chief Ashim Ghosh were also searched by the CBI.

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“CBI today conducted searches around 12 places, including at Kolkata, Kanchrapara, Barrackpore, Halisahar, Dumdum, North Dum Dum, Krishnanagar, Taki, Kamarhati, Chetla, Bhowanipore, etc. at the premises of certain persons, including public servants in an ongoing investigation of a case,” a spokesperson of the agency said.

The TMC, slamming the action, said it was a desperate attempt to divert attention from its ongoing demonstration outside the Raj Bhavan over demands for central funds.

“This is an attempt to divert the public’s attention from the ongoing protest outside Raj Bhavan led by Abhishek Banerjee. The BJP appears to be sensing a growing public discontent, and they are using every means at their disposal to change the narrative. This is a clear example of vendetta politics,” said senior TMC MP Sougata Roy.

BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya while rejecting the allegations said, “If the TMC has nothing to hide, why are they afraid of ED and CBI?”

“Whenever TMC leaders are summoned by the ED or CBI, they cry foul and accuse the agencies of being politically motivated. Yet, the reality is that the TMC is deeply mired in corruption with nearly every leader facing some allegation or the other,” he claimed.

The CPI(M) alleged that large-scale corruption happened in the recruitments made by the civic bodies.

“The central agencies stepped in as the state CID failed,” CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty claimed.

The CBI had arrested both Hakim and Mitra in 2021 in the Narada sting operation case while Mitra was also arrested by the CBI in 2014 in the Saradha chit fund scam.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday searched multiple locations, including the residence of Food and Supplies Minister Rathin Ghosh, in connection with the recruitment case.

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