After the first day of full-fledged questioning on Tuesday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials probing the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, the central agency officials are getting a different set of responses from former state education minister, Partha Chatterjee and his close aide, Arpita Mukherjee.
ED sources said that since their arrest on Saturday, the officials for the first time got a full-fledged opportunity to grill both Chatterjee and Mukherjee at the agency’s office at CGO Complex at Salt Lake in the northern outskirts of Kolkata.
While Arpita Mukherjee has been sheltered at a lockup dedicated for women in that office, for Chatterjee the probe officials have set up a make-shift lockup at one of the conference rooms there.
“On Tuesday, our two sperate teams questioned Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee separately. At the end of the day what we have witnessed is that Arpita Mukherjee has started showing signs of breaking down and started responding positively to the systematic questioning of our officers. On the other hand, Partha Chatterjee is still putting up an apparent brave face in the face of questioning and ducking most of our questions on the pretext of being faded out of memory,” an ED official said.
Sources further said that Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee will be questioned for another day or two separately so that the interrogating sleuths have a clear idea of the inconsistencies in the statement given by the two in this connection.
After that, both will be confronted with one another and questioned together.
“We have time till August 3 since both will be in our custody till that date. We hope that by that time we will have adequate information about the remaining tentacles of the octopus in the multi-crore scam. Depending on the information secured, our higher officials will decide whether to make a plea for extension of the two after August 3,” a ED official said.
Meanwhile, state Congress president and veteran party Lok Sabha member, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Tuesday has written a letter to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee requesting the latter to strip Partha Chatterjee of all his ministerial posts.