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West Bengal minister Mustaq Ahmed’s son’s name crops up in cut money controversy


KOLKATA:  The heat of the cut money agitations reached Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet as two men, from the suburbs of east Kolkata, lodged police complaints accusing Abdur Rezzak Mollah’s son of taking cut money from them. Mustaq Ahmed, son of Mollah, the Food Processing Industries and Horticulture Minister, allegedly took Rs 7 lakh from two persons. One of the complainants alleged Mustaq took RS 5 lakh to settle a land dispute and the other claimed he took Rs 2 lakh for helping him get a government subsidy to construct cold storage in the area.

In his complaint, Monirujjaman Mollah, a resident of Bhangar in South 24-Parganas, alleged Mustaq had promised to settle a land dispute issue by using his father’s influence in 2016. Lalbabu Mollah alleged he wanted to construct cold storage in the area and Mustaq assured him of government grant from his father’s department and took Rs 2 lakh. 

Monirujjaman and Lalbabu lodged separate complaints with the Kolkata Leather Complex police station. Locals accused Mustaq of taking money from unemployed youths promising jobs. Mustaq, however, said the allegations were baseless. ‘‘I have been vocal against theft from a HIDCO site. I have also been speaking against filling up wetlands in the area. It seems I have hurt a group’s vested interest,’’ he said.

At Sadaipur in Birbhum, a protest over cut money turned violent on Wednesday after demonstrators hurled bombs at the police. A series of agitations have been carried out in the last month against TMC’s local leaders and a group of 200 odd locals started marching towards a local Trinamool leader’s house around 10 am. Trouble started after the local police intervened.