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New Delhi [India], August 11: (ANI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to eight Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in the West Bengal coal scam case asking them to join its probe here in the national capital, officials said on Thursday.

Among those who were issued summons are IPS officers Gyanwant Singh, Koteswara Rao, S Selvamurugan, Shyam Singh, Rajeev Mishra, Sukesh Kumar Jain, and Tathagata Basu.The IPS officers are from West Bengal, and their questioning is expected to start anytime between August 21 to August 31.

Sources said few of the summoned IPS officers were deputed in the area where illegal coal mining and smuggling were taking place.

The probe by the ED, according to sources, indicates that the IPS officers were aware of the coal smuggling racket, but no action was taken by them.

Sources also claimed that a few police officials were also involved in the transportation of cash in official vehicles.

Vinay Mishra, TMC youth leader and prime accused in the case, is allegedly a close associate of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who was also questioned by the ED this year in March.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) started the probe in the coal smuggling case and the ED initiated a parallel investigation.

The CBI registered the case in November 2020. It is alleged that illegally mined coal, worth several thousand crores of rupees, has been sold in the black market over several years by a racket operating in the western parts of West Bengal where the Eastern Coalfields Limited runs several mines.

On February 21 last year, a CBI team visited Abhishek's residence and summoned his wife Rujira and his sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir over an alleged connection in the coal scam.

The ED lodged a case under the provisions of the PMLA based on a November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Limited mines in the state's Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.

Local coal operator Anup Majhi alias Lala is alleged to be the prime suspect in the case.

The ED had claimed that the parliamentarian was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. It has arrested two people in this case till now. (ANI)

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