SRIJITA SEAL, KOLKATA: He wanted to be the poor man’s “Robin Hood.” But he became the “quasi ruler” of Bongaon. His reign spread with the lightning speed, carving a vast empire stretching from the border of Bongaon to Dubai. He was involved in a multitude of illegal activities. That is why he took refuge in the ruling party of the state, the Trinamool Congress. Several allegations have been raised that he has been harming the party even while staying in it.

Even though the party once clipped his wings, it could not completely cut them off.

Shankar Adhya, the former chairman of Bangaon, known as “Daku”, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 6, 2024, in connection with a ration scam. The ED alleges that Adhya was involved in the diversion of government-supplied rations to the black market. At the moment this is the Talk of the town.

Adhya’s arrest has sent shockwaves through the political landscape of Bangaon. Now the question has arised, is Daku alone? Or will any other stalwarts of Bangaon be involved in it? Will Daku tell anyone’s name? Speculation is rife.  

It is still a perplexing issue whether Adhya will be expelled from the Trinamool Congress. However, the party’s leadership has issued a warning to him, saying that he will face severe consequences if he is found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Biswajit Das, the Trinamool’s, Bangaon organizational district president, said, “The BJP is using ED, CBI for their political gain. Law will follow its own course . Jyotipriyo Mallick was the district president of our party. He may have good terms with a member of the party. So what’s wrong with that?”

However, the BJP did not hold back its fire. The BJP’s reaction to the arrest of Adhya is in line with their broader campaign against corruption in West Bengal. The BJP has accused the Trinamool Congress of being a party of corrupt politicians, and they have vowed to bring them to justice. They alleged that big leaders have been arrested before. Now the small ones are being arrested. No one will get away.They have looted the people, and people will answer them in the ballot box. BJP’s Bangaon organizational district president Devdas Mandal’s attacked that if the investigation goes on correctly, then it will eventually be seen that Shankar Adhya is the owner of a colossal. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, after the incident in Sandeshkhali, on the same day, after Adhya was arrested and put in the car, Daku’s followers attacked the central agency’s car. Some women tried to stop the ED’s car. There was a scuffle. When the ED’s car moved ahead then Daku’s followers started throwing bricks and the car’s rear window shattered.

A few days ago, ED had issued a notice to Shankar Adhya, on being a close associate of former food minister Jyotipriyo Mallick, but then he didn’t turn up. But this time he could not keep himself out of sight.

According to ED sources, about Rs 8.5 lakh was recovered from his house and in-laws’ house. Besides Shankar’s house and his in-laws’ house, ED also searched the house of his chartered accountant in Baghajatin. 

ED officials also raided the flat of Shankar Adhya’s associate Bablu Das in Kolkata. A large police force was deployed in front of Shankar Adhya’s house, even though the central forces were present. At around 12 noon on Friday, the former chairman of Bangaon came out of the house once. In response to a question from the media, he said, “The matter is under trial so I will not comment on it. ED officials have come. They are doing their own work. I am cooperating in the investigation.”

Shankar Adhya started his political career by holding the hands of Jyotipriya Mallick, a powerful politician in West Bengal. In 2005 he became the councilor of the Bongaon municipality for the first time, later, he became the chairman. During this time his property grew at a meteoric rate. In the Bongaon town he had an unquestionable influence. He holds absolute power over all the people, in making all the decisions without any checks and balances. There are also some allegations regarding forcibly taking over land and houses against Shankar Adhya and his gang.

Although Shankar Adhya has repeatedly said, these are all conspiracies and propaganda against him. There has been no evidence found as to how he acquired his property. The story behind the expansion of the Daaku’s empire was shrouded in secrecy. Shankar Adhya has multiple businesses. He has foreign exchange counters in Bongaon and Petrapole. It is alleged that he once ran a drugs syndicate between India and Bangladesh. He has gold shops in Bongaon and Bagda. He has a hotel in the city. But even beyond this, he has a huge amount of property in his name and anonymously.

His name has been involved in drug cases and sometimes in murder cases. He tried to become Robin Hood in order to keep up his image by spending lakhs of rupees by taking initiative in several social and religious activities.

In 2021, Shankar wanted to be the Trinamool candidate for the Bongaon North Assembly seat. But he did not get the ticket. After that, Daku withdrew himself from the election campaign. Due to intense factionalism, Trinamool lost all the seats in Bongaon subdivision. Allegations of sabotage were raised against Daku. After that, he was removed from the party post.

Although he was cornered in the Trinamool Congress on the surface, but he did not face any hurdle in expanding his empire. All of his efforts went in vain as he was eventually arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), India’s financial investigation agency. 

ED officials took the former chairman of the Bongaon Municipality to the CGO complex. On Saturday morning, he was taken to the Joka ESI Hospital for a medical examination. From there, he was taken to the Bankshall Court. The ED raided Shankar Adhya’s house and in-laws’ house at 7:00 am on Friday. He was arrested at 12:30 am after a 17-hour search operation and interrogation.

ED produced Shankar Adhya before the Bankshall Court on Saturday. The ED’s lawyer made sensational claims that crores of rupees were going abroad through Adhya’s company.

The ED informed the Bankshall Court that Rs 10,000 crore of corruption has taken place in the ration scam. Adhya, a close aide of former food minister Jyotipriya Mallick, has sent the money of corruption abroad through hawala. The ED wanted to interrogate Adhya to reach the root of the scam. The Bankshall Court accepted the ED’s application.

According to ED sources, the names of 90 companies have been found so far through which the money of the state’s ration was sent abroad. The ED claimed that Rs 2,000 crore has been sent to Dubai,

they also claimed that there is no proof that the huge amount of money sent abroad was used for anti-national activities.

The ED has found evidence that Shankar Adhya was involved in the ration scam. The letter from Jyotipriya Mallick mentions that Adhya was involved in the scam. The ED also alleges that Mallick made plans for the scam from his hospital chamber.

The ED has not yet calculated the full amount of the ration scam. However, they have found that Bakibuur, one of the mill owners involved in the scam, has earned Rs 1,000 crore. There are other mill owners who have benefited from the scam. As a result, the total amount of ration theft could be much higher.


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