KOLKATA: A BJP member, who had contested this year’s assembly poll in West Bengal, and a coal mafia don were arrested along with some truck owners from the Raniganj coal belt with stacks of new currency in their possession on Tuesday.
The Kolkata Police STF recovered Rs 33 lakh in cash, seven guns and 89 rounds of ammunition from their possession. Around Rs 10 lakh was found on BJP’s Manish Sharma alias Manish Joshi (44). He was found travelling in the same car as four other accused and was caught with the cash and weapons.
The don, Rajesh Jha alias Raju (46), was arrested twice in June and July in two cases of fake currency and murder and was out on bail. I-T has been alerted even as cops are trying to ascertain the source of the money kept in Rs 2,000 new notes, Rs 100 and Rs 50 notes. Of the amount, Rs 2 lakh cash was in a series — a clear indication that it was withdrawn from a bank branch.
Joint CP (STF and crime) Vishal Garg said, “Besides Raju and Manish, we arrested Raju’s aide Lokesh Singh, who owns a truck business, Krishnamurari Koyal, a resident of a luxury complex , a promoter and the driver of the car.” Based on their interrogation, two others were also arrested.
BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh said, “BJP not stand by Manish. He has to prove his innocence.” The joint CP said the money was being accumulated “for procurement of arms”.