WBSSC recruitment scam: CBI raids residences of Bengal’s top educationist

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, probing the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, on Wednesday conducted raid and search operations at the residences and office of North Bengal University (NBU) Vice Chancellor, Subiresh Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya was the Chairman of WBSSC in the period between 2014 and 2018, with Partha Chatterjee as then Education Minister, when the teachers’ recruitment scam purportedly took place.

Two teams of tthe CBI separately conducted raid and search operations at Bhattacharya’s residence at Siliguri in north Bengal as well as his residence at Kolkata. In fact, after conducting the raid and search operations, the CBI sleuths even sealed his residence at Bansdroni in south Kolkata.

On Wednesday afternoon, after a CBI team of 12 officers reached Siliguri, they got divided into two separate sub-teams. While one team conducted the raid and search operations at Bhattacharya’s office in the NBU campus, the other raided his residence at Siliguri.

A CBI source said that of the 381 individuals who were provided with appointment letters, as many as 222 were recruited even without appearing for the interview and the personality test, since none of them qualified in the written examination. The remaining 159, though qualified in the written test, were lagging in the merit list of others. The entire irregularity, according to the CBI, happened with Bhattacharya as the Chairman of WBSSC.

In fact, the Calcutta High Court-appointed judicial committee, headed by Justice Ranjit Kumar Bag (retired) also had held Bhattacharya as one of those responsible behind the recruitment irregularities. In fact, the judicial committee report was cited as one of the most important clues based on which Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay ordered a CBI probe in the teachers’ recruitment irregularity scam.

Already Santi Prasad Sinha, the former convenor of the WBSSC’s screening committee, deemed to be the epicenter of the scam and former Secretary of the Commission, Ashok Saha, are currently in CBI custody. CBI sources said that both the statements given by them are thoroughly inconsistent.

Chatterjee and his purported close aide, Arpita Mukherjee are in judicial custody now.

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