Manish Sharma, BJP’s candidate from Raniganj in 2016 Assembly election, was arrested from a flat at Baguiati on Monday night along with six others including a dreaded coal mafia member Rajesh Jha alias Raju.
Police suspect that the coal mafia members from Durgapur and Asansol had assembled at Baguiati to buy arms and ammunition to create trouble there. Acting on a tip-off, the officers of the Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police conducted the raid and arrested the accused. Arms, ammunition and Rs 33 lakh cash were recovered from them.
The arrest of Sharma led to embarrassment for the BJP as he is the second BJP leader to get arrested in the past few days after BJP leader from Bidhannagar Dr Dilip Ghosh, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department for his alleged involvement in child trafficking.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said: “Sharma has to come out clean to be a part of the party.” A senior police officer said police received information that some people with fire arms were heading towards Baguiati in an Innova car.
The police intercepted the car on Bidhan Sishu Udyan Sarani at Maniktala.
The police found illegal firearms, ammunitions and a huge amount of money from three persons in the car - Sayan Majumdar alias Babu (29), Lokesh Singh (35) and Subham Bhowmik (28).
All three persons are residents of Durgapur. Sayan was driving the car while Lokesh and Subham were sitting with an improvised semi automatic pistol with Magazine loaded with two live cartridges. Police seized an iPhone from Lokesh.
Police came to know about the flat owned by the dreaded coal mafia Raju at Baguiati after interrogating Lokesh.
He also told the police that four other associates including the BJP’s candidate had assembled in the flat. Police conducted a raid and arrested Raju, who is originally a resident of Durgapur. TheBJP candidate Manish Sharma (44), Krishna Murari Kayel alias Billu (44), Partha Chatterjee alias Goutam (41) and Subham Bhowmik (28) were arrested from Raju’s flat at Panchabati Complex on VIP Road near Baguiati.
Police found new Rs 2000 notes worth Rs 10 lakh from his possession and a Black Berry mobile phone. While a semi automatic pistol loaded with two round live cartridges, a licensed 0.32 bore revolver, 31 live cartridges and Rs 8 lakh was seized from Gautam. Raju was also carrying an improvised semi automatic pistol loaded with two live cartridges. It was also seized.
Police recovered another Rs 15 lakh from Krishna Murari Kayel. Subham was also carrying a pistol loaded with two rounds of live cartridges.
They were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and the Arms Act. All the seven accused were remanded in the custody of the police till December 9 after being produced before the Bankshall Court on Tuesday afternoon.