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Government Seals Seized from Arrested Individuals Point to State Officials’ Involvement in Ration Distribution Irregularities Case

In the case of ration distribution irregularities in West Bengal, the seizure of various state government seals from the office of Bakibur Rahman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), has confirmed the involvement of senior officials from the state food & supplies department, according to sources. The seals discovered in Rahman’s office include those from West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation Limited, the chief inspector, district food supply officers, and the sub-inspector of the state food & supplies department.

The ED officials believe that without the active participation of some department officials, such a significant number of stamps could not have ended up in the accused’s office. Meanwhile, the ED has uncovered documents related to substantial property and assets in Rahman’s name, including rice mills, hotels, bar-cum-restaurants, and high-end vehicles, along with information on at least six corporate entities linked to Rahman, suspected to be shell companies used for the scam’s proceeds.

Numerous inward and outward remittances have been tracked from these companies’ accounts, totaling several crores of rupees. When questioned by investigators, Rahman has remained vague about the sources of funds for acquiring these substantial assets and properties. The accused primarily operated in North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts, and his main charge involved selling essential commodities designated for fair-price shops in the open market.