BJP leaders' names crop up in cash seizure cases
Kolkata: Huge amount of money was recovered from a few persons on Thursday and one more person was detained in this connection on Friday. Names of a few BJP leaders cropped up in both the cases that came into light on Thursday. Cops are also trying to find out the political affiliation of the accused person, who was nabbed on Friday.
On Thursday night, sleuths from Bakultala police station got a tip-off that a huge amount of money will be transported somewhere in the city in a car.
Working on the information, police personnel started checking cars at Bahrughat area. During the drive, sleuths asked the driver of a SUV to stop his car for checking. Four persons, including a local BJP leader identified as Mintu Halder was found inside the car. Two women, who are the members of BJP's Mahila Morcha were also inside the car.
During checking of the car, sleuths found a cheque of Rs 10 lakh from Halder. But, police found no money inside the car. Suspicion grew when two women identified as Namita Sardar and Saraswati Halder refused to get out the car. When they were physically checked by women officers, huge amount of cash was found hidden under their clothes.
The car along with the passengers was taken to the police station. After the money was counted and the police came to know that they had about Rs 24.12 lakh with them. Later, all four of them were arrested. Sources informed that the accused persons said that the Baruipur BJP party office provided them with the cash to be used for election. However, senior leaders of South 24-Parganas denied allegations made by the accused persons.
On Thursday night, state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) raided a house in Burnpur and seized Rs 19.25 lakh. On Sunday, Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel intercepted two men at Asansol railway station, who were carrying Rs 1 crore. Later, it was found one of them, identified as Gautam Chatterjee, was the former personal assistant of Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh. Chatterjee and his aide, identified as Lakshmikant Shaw, were spotted at the platform number 5 of the Asansol railway station. The state CID and Asansol-Durgapur Police were informed. Later, the CID took charge of the investigation and interrogated the duo after being taken into police custody. During the interrogation, sleuths came up with a businessman's name identified as Bajrangi Agarwal. On Thursday night, CID sleuths raided his house and found the money. But, Agarwal was not there at the time of raid. It is suspected that he had sensed danger and fled before sleuths arrived.
On Friday afternoon, police personnel from New Town police station raided a house at an apartment near Eco Park and seized Rs 8.5 lakh. The occupant of the flat identified as Indranil Acharya of Jharkhand has been arrested. Sources informed that he claimed himself to be the owner of an advertisement agency. When he was asked to provide documents related to the money, Acharya failed to produce a single document. It is suspected that the money was meant to be used for elections. secretary general of Trinamool Congress Partha Chatterjee protested the BJP's plan to circulate money to buy votes and said: "The BJP is circulating money like water from hose pipes."
Apart from money recovery, cars of BJP leaders such as Shamik Bhattacharya, Mukul Roy and others were attacked at Nagerbazar late on Thursday night.
It was alleged that they were planning to circulate money inside a ceremonial house. Sources informed that a BJP worker, identified as Raju Sarkar, had organised a party to celebrate his wife's birthday. There, CPM leader of Dum Dum Paltu Dasgupta was invited.
Roy, Bhattacharya and other BJP leaders also attended the party. The TMC alleged that there are financial deals between the BJP and the CPM. Later, the police arrived at the spot and arrested 12 persons in this connection.