Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Monday afternoon arrested vice-chancellor of the University of North Bengal, Subiresh Bhattacharya, in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam.
Subiresh Bhattacharya was the chairman of WBSSC, in the period between 2014 and 2018, with Partha Chatterjee as the then state education minister, when the teachers' recruitment scam purportedly took place.
While this is the ninth arrest by the central agencies like CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the teachers' recruitment irregularities scam, Subiresh Bhattacharya is the first vice-chancellor of any state university to be arrested in this connection.
The other arrests in this connection are former state education minister, Partha Chatterjee, his close associate Arpita Mukherjee, former West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) president, Kalyanmoy Gangopadhayay, former WBSSC secretary, Ashok Saha, former convenor of the commission's screening committee, SP Sinha and three middlemen namely Pradeep Singh, Prasanna Roy and Subrata Malakar.
It is learnt that Subiresh Bhattacharya will be presented at the special court of CBI on Tuesday where the counsel of the central agency will seek his custody for interrogation.
Till the report was filed, not a single Trinamool Congress leader was ready to offer any comment or statement on this count. CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate of Calcutta High Court, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said that till now starting from the former education minister to the commission's officials arrested in this connection have pointed their finger towards the higher authorities.
"So, it is established that a scam has taken place. As regards to the higher authorities as said by the arrested persons, they have only one higher authority who is the chief minister of West Bengal. So, it is high time for the central agencies to act accordingly," he said.
On August 24, the CBI sleuths conducted raid and search operations at the residences of Subiresh Bhattacharya at Siliguri in north Bengal as well as in Kolkata. At that point of time, Bhattacharya said that although there might have been some technical mistakes in the appointment process during his tenure as the WBSSC chairman, there had been no corruption in the process.