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Featured Image: Representational photograph of Indian currency notes.  

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 16 August: TRINAMOOL Congress on Sunday demanded the arrest of Bally Municipality’s outgoing chairman Arunava Lahiri of the CPI-M in connection with the Rs 21.80 crore unaccounted cash seizure from the house of an engineer of the civic body on 14 August.

This is even as the anti-corruption wing of the Bengal police, which unearthed the huge cash from sub-assistant engineer Pranab Adhikari’s residence in Howrah and subsequently arrested him and his son, have stumbled upon five more accounts that Adhikari has been maintaining with different banks in Kolkata.

Investigators suspect that the engineer might have routed a part of the bribe money that he collected over the years to these bank accounts.

Bally unit of the Trinamool Congress took out a rally in the area on Sunday and held demonstrations in front of Bally Municipality’s outgoing chairman Arunava Lahiri, alleging his complicity in the case.

“Lahiri and several other local CPI-M leaders were in the know of this bribe collection racket and have benefitted from it. Hence, they should be immediately arrested and interrogated face-to-face with the arrested engineer to bust the entire corruption chain,” demanded Riaz Ahmed, Bally unit leader of the Trinamool.

Mr Lahiri on his part alleged that the Trinamool was trying to frame him as people of Bally support the CPI-M over the state’s ruling party.

CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said that the matter should be investigated thoroughly to unravel the root of this huge corruption and that CPI-M would not back anyone proved guilty.

Both the investigators and a section of the CPI-M find it unconvincing that the municipality chairman and other officials could have been unaware of a bribe racket of this magnitude.

Anti-corruption wing officials searched the house of another engineer of Bally Municipality, Basu Deb Das at Belur in Howrah on Saturday night and confiscated some documents but no unaccounted cash was found.