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Manik Bhattacharya accused of receiving cut in admission fees of private training colleges


Kolkata, Nov 2 (IANS) Tapas Mondal, a prime witness in the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam in West Bengal, on Wednesday accused Trinamool Congress MLA and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya, of being a recipient of share in the admission fees received by different private diploma in elementary education (D.El. Ed) colleges in the state.

Mondal, the president of All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association (ABTTAA), an umbrella organisation of such private D.El.Ed colleges, was a close associate of Bhattacharya.

He himself used to run a number of such private colleges. On Wednesday, he appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths to face questioning relating to the scam.

Speaking briefly to waiting mediapersons, Mondal levelled some serious allegations against Bhattacharyya, which virtually corroborated ED’s findings that the candidates going for offline registration in some private training colleges had to pay Rs 5,000 each, a portion of which went to Bhattacharya, who is currently under judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the primary teacher’s recruitment scam.

“Candidates had to pay Rs 5,000 each for offline registration. ‘He’ used to send people to my office to collect the files and cash, which has been confirmed by the staff of my office,” Mondal said.

When asked who was the person who sent people to his office, Mondal said, “Manik Babu.”

Meanwhile, ED sources said that as per the rules, the admission process in such private training colleges is online. However, after the completion of online admission, some seats often remained vacant. For these vacant seats, offline registrations were done for which each candidate had to pay a sum of Rs 5,000, a portion of which reportedly went to Bhattacharya.

ED sources said that it is a matter of investigation whether these candidates going for offline registration got appointed as primary teachers at a later stage.

“For that purpose, the interrogation of Tapas Mondal is important since he is privy to important information on this count,” they said.

To recall, on October 24, ED’s counsel Phiroze Edulji had informed a lower court that following preliminary investigation, the central agency has traced properties worth Rs 10 crore owned by Bhattacharya and his family members.

Edulji had informed that ED sleuths have traced Rs 3 crore from a bank account held jointly by Bhattacharya’s wife, Satarupa Bhattacharya, and a deceased person named Mrityunjoy Chakraborty.

The ED’s counsel also informed the court that a compact disc was recovered from the residence of Bhattacharya which contained the names of 4,000 individuals.

On cross-checking with WBBPE authorities, the central agency officials confirmed that 2,500 out of that 4,000 have secured jobs as primary teachers.



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