Thursday, December 7, 2023

Controversy surrounding Bengali film linked to ration distribution scam


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Shillong, October 31: In the midst of a deepening controversy, a Bengali movie titled ‘Mangrove,’ produced by Bakibur Rahman, a prime accused in a multi-crore ration distribution case in West Bengal, has come under intense scrutiny.

As per IANS, what’s adding fuel to the fire is the revelation that both the director of the movie and the writer of the novel on which the film is based are associated with the state food & supplies department, with one being a former employee and the other a current one.

The film ‘Mangrove,’ which made its debut in 2014, was adapted from a novel written by Parthasarathi Gayen, a former additional director in the state food & supplies department. The director of the movie, Saurav Mukherjee, currently holds a position within the same department.

Controversy surrounds the film not only due to its connections to the ration distribution scandal but also because Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of the former West Bengal Education Minister, Partha Chatterjee, and a key figure in the multi-crore cash-for-school job case, played a leading role in the movie. Furthermore, the renowned Bollywood actress Rakhi Sawant also had a part in the film.

Adding to the intrigue, it has emerged that Partha Chatterjee himself attended the movie’s premiere. Both Chatterjee and Mukherjee are currently in judicial custody due to their alleged involvement in the school job case. In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) discovered over Rs 50 crore in cash, along with a substantial amount of gold bars and biscuits, in two of Arpita’s residences last July.

The ED’s investigators, who are probing the ration distribution case, have uncovered that a significant portion of the expenses related to the movie’s production, including actor and technician honorariums, were paid in cash. This revelation bolsters the central agency’s case, indicating that the proceeds from the ration distribution case were funneled into the film’s production.

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