In a rare move, eight Indian Police Service (IPS) of the West Bengal cadre have been summoned by the the Enforcement Directorate to examine the occurrence of supervisory lapse in their respective juridictions that allowed illegal coal mining and smuggling.

The police officers Gyanwant Singh, Koteswara Rao, S Selvamurugan, Shyam Singh, Rajeev Mishra, Sukesh Kumar Jain, and Tathagata Basu have been asked to present themselves for questioning in the ongoing coal scam between August 21 to 31, said ED officials.

According to ED sources, they turned blind eye and some of them allegedly helped in the transportation of the illegally mined coal.

The ED in March had questioned Vinay Mishra, the TMC youth leader and a prime accused in the coal mining case. Mishra is allegedly a close associate of the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) kickstarted investigation into the coal smuggling case, which the ED subsequently picked it up to find out proceeds of the crime. Two years ago, the CBI registered a case to probe pilferage of coal worth thousands of crores from Eastern Coalfields Limited.

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.

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