WBSSC scam: Arrested middleman sent to seven days CBI custody

Kolkata: A special CBI court on Thursday sent alleged middleman Pradip Singh, arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on late Wednesday evening in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, to the agency’s custody for seven days.

The CBI will have to present Singh at the same court again on September 1.

The CBI counsel told the court that Singh acted as the middleman between the undeserving candidates and the kingpins of the recruitment irregularities scam within WBSSC. Once the deal was finalised, he acted as the bridge between the candidate and the commission insiders in fixing the amount of money that had to be paid for finalising the appointment, counsel argued.

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Meanwhile, CBI sources said that a thorough interrogation of Singh is required since his statements might reveal further clues regarding the involvement of influential persons in the scam. Sources said in the course of investigation, the investigating sleuths have come across two vital clues related to the scam.

The first clue is relating to an email account of Singh, where from the CBI sleuths have recovered important communication between him and a number of undesiring candidates regarding appointment and related payments.

The second clue, according to sources, are from some crucial WhatsApp chats from his personal mobile number again with some undeserving candidates. It is learnt that Singh used to run a computer-graphics setup which he actually used as the hub for running his racket relating to the recruitment irregularities scam. This particular setup is located at a stone’s throw from the ancestral residence of former West Bengal Education Minister and Trinamool Congress Secretary General, Partha Chatterjee at Naktala in south Kolkata.

Singh is the fifth accused arrested in the teacher’ recruitment scam and the third by the CBI. Earlier the CBI sleuths arrested Santi Prasad Sinha, the former convenor of the WBSSC’s screening committee, deemed to be the epicenter of the entire scam and Ashok Saha, the former Secretary of the commission. Both are in CBI custody currently.

Prior to that last month, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Chatterjee and his aide and purported partner in crime, Arpita Mukherjee in the same case. Huge cash and gold recovery was made from two residences of Arpita Mukherjee then. Both are in judicial custody now.

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. It was founded in 1986 by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the "India Abroad News Service" and later renamed. The service reports news, views and analysis from the subcontinent about the country, across a wide range of subjects.
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