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Coal extraction racket: Alleged kingpin joins BJP

Kolkata: At a time when the BJP leaders have been vocal against illegal coal extraction and related trade, a man who is allegedly the kingpin of such a racket had joined the saffron party on Monday.

Rajesh Jha, alias Raju took the flag of BJP from Arjun Singh and East Burdwan district president of the party Lakshman Ghorui.

Jha owns several hotel and other properties and claims himself as a businessman and a social worker. However, he is at present booked in several cases who that are pending in court. He has been arrested on more than one occasion by the police. According to sources, Jha used to work as a helper in coal laden trucks and reportedly became a notorious coal mafia during

the erstwhile Left regime. He used to run his

illegal coal extraction racket in and around Asansol Durgapur. He was booked in several cases even in Birbhum district. In December 2016, Jha and some of his associates were picked up by the sleuths of Kolkata Police Task Force with stacks of new currency notes and arms and ammunitions. The arrest was at a time when demonestisation was plaguing the common people.

He was even arrested twice in June and July 2016 in two separate cases of fake currency and murder. He was on bail when her was arrested with new currency notes.

Meanwhile, just a day after Jha joined BJP, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids across Kolkata which includes raid at the residence of a businessman Ganesh Bagaria at Bangur in Lake Town. He is reportedly close to Anup Majhi alias Lala who is the kingpin of racket against which CBI is conducting a probe. Several BSF officials are allegedly connected with the racket as well as cattle smuggling. Despite that he was summoned several times and also a look out notice was issued against him, CBI officials has failed to trace him. As Lala is an important suspect in this case, the CBI is trying to trace his movement. For the reason the central agency has planned to conduct raid at the office and residences of Lala's close ones.

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