PDS scam: ED raids nearly six locations in West Bengal linked to absconding TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan

PDS scam: ED raids nearly six locations in West Bengal linked to absconding TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan

New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Friday morning started conducting raids at nearly half-a-dozen locations in West Bengal in its ongoing investigation against absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan in connection with the alleged Public Distribution System (PDS) scam.
These raids come a day after the agency issued fresh summons to Shahjahan to join investigation on February 29.

Accompanied by central forces, the ED officials launched the search operation since early morning.
Last month, the federal agency also conducted two separate raids on multiple location on different dates in connection with the case.
Those places included the residence of Shahjahan’s residence in Sandeshkhali.
On one similar search operation conducted on January 5, the ED officials were attacked while on their way to carry out raids at Shahjahan and fellow TMC leader Shankar Adhya’s residences in the North 24 Parganas district. Nearly 200 locals, believed to be supporters of the TMC leader, encircled the officials and armed paramilitary forces then, preventing them from raiding Shahjahan’s residence. Two ED officials were injured in the incident.
The incident lead a political blame game with the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders criticising state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee government raising question over law and order situation, while the TMC blamed the agency of provoking the locals.
The incident led the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking a detailed report from the West Bengal government regarding the attacks.
The fresh raids are part of an investigation into the alleged ration scam in the state, with former food and civil supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick already in custody. Mallick was arrested in connection with the scam in October 2023 and remains behind the bars.
Shahjahan continues to evade capture, with both state police and Central agencies unable to locate him.
Recently, the Calcutta High Court instructed a collaborative Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and West Bengal Police to investigate an assault on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Sandeshkhali.
The SIT, consisting of personnel from both agencies, has been mandated to present its findings by February 12, as per the High Court’s directive.

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