Attack on ED reflects poor democratic principles and strains Centre-State relations

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Image source: HT

Delhi, Jan 07: A violent attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers in West Bengal by a mob allegedly incited by local Trinamool Congress leaders has stirred national concern. The ED team visited the residence of Shahjahan Shekh, a Trinamool leader linked to a multi-crore ration scam, resulting in an assault. Members of the mob beat several officers, vandalized official vehicles, and overwhelmed the limited Central Reserve Police Force presence.

The incident has led to calls for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s resignation and the imposition of President’s rule by BJP leaders. The Governor of West Bengal, C V Ananda Bose, has sought an explanation from the Director General of Police and Home Secretary regarding the failure of local police to protect the ED team.

ED officers Rajkumar Ram, Somnath Dutta, and Ankur Gupta sustained severe injuries during the attack, escaping with their lives by taking an auto-rickshaw while the mob looted their mobile phones and laptops. Trinamool Congress leaders attempted to blame the ED, alleging that the officers failed to inform local police in advance. However, Basirhat SP Joby Thomas contradicted this claim, confirming that the ED had informed the police via email before the raid.

This incident follows a series of ED and CBI raids in West Bengal, causing concerns for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Previous investigations into scams, including the teacher recruitment scam, Sharada chit fund scam, and Rose Valley scam, implicated Trinamool Congress leaders and ministers. Despite ongoing probes by ED and CBI, Mamata Banerjee has not distanced herself from leaders involved in corruption.

The attack on ED officers underscores broader issues, as it reflects poorly on democratic principles and strains Centre-State relations. Questions arise about the justification for attacks on central agency officers performing their duties in states. The incident prompts considerations about the fate of the administrative system and the need for action against senior police officers if state police fail to prevent such attacks on central agency officers.



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