The Enforcement Directorate (ED) which has recently submitted its first chargesheet in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, has tracked a proxy mobile number used by former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee while engaging in “important communications” related to the recruitment process.
According to ED sources, both Partha Chatterjee and his close associate, Arpita Mukherjee used multiple numbers and multiple mobile phones, all of which were seized by the ED sleuths.
“While checking the different mobile phones of the two, our officers tracked a particular SIM card, which though used by Partha Chatterjee was not registered in his name,” an ED official said.
On enquiry from the service provider, the sleuths came to know that the as per documents required to be submitted at the time of taking a mobile phone connection, that particular SIM card and number was registered in the name of a “non-Bengali lady” whose name the ED official refused to disclose.
The connection was taken from an outlet near Partha Chatterjee’s ancestral residence at Naktala in south Kolkata.
Sources said that although the ED sleuths questioned Partha Chatterjee about the identity of the woman on whose name the number was registered, the former education minister repeatedly denied having any knowledge about her.
It was learnt that the ED in the first chargesheet has mentioned about Partha Chatterjee using a proxy number to make special communication pertaining to the WBSSC recruitment process.
ED sources said Chatterjee used this particular number mainly to communicate with Trinamool Congress MLA Manik Bhattacharya who was recently removed from the chair of the president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education following an order by the Calcutta High Court.
“The proxy number was used deliberately to hide his identity while making such communications,” the ED official said.
Manik Bhattacharya has already approached the Supreme Court against his removal and also with demanded quashing the Calcutta High Court order for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of primary teachers in the state.
Both Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee are currently in judicial custody.