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Jharkhand MLAs’ cash seizure: Extending full co-operation to Bengal CID, says Assam police

Assam police stated that it is extending full co-operation to the four-member Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team from West Bengal who is in Guwahati to investigate after three Congress MLAs were arrested in West Bengal with cash amounting to lakhs of rupees.

There were reports that a team from West Bengal was detained at Guwahati airport. However, Assam police refuted the same. A senior police officer who does not want to be named told ET, “A four-member CID team has come, we have provided them with vehicles. We are co-operating as per the norms”.

The officer said that they are looking to get CCTV footage from the airport. The three, Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachhap, and Naman Bixal, were arrested in West Bengal’s Howrah on July 31 with Rs 49 lakh cash.

On Tuesday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the FIR by Jharkhand Congress MLA Jaimangal as ‘fake’.

Jaimangal has filed a complaint against Sarma in Jharkhand, claiming that three party legislators who were arrested in Bengal with cash amounting to lakhs of rupees, had also offered him a visit to Guwahati to meet the Assam chief minister with an aim to topple the JMM-led government in his state.

Himanta had tweeted, “Fake FIR in #Jharkhand. The so-called FIR looks like @INCIndia asking Ottavio Quattrocchi to file a case against Bofors” .

In a series of tweets, Assam’s Information and public relation minister, Pijush Hazarika, tweeted photographs of the Sarma and Jaimangal to claim that the two were regularly in touch and the Jharkhand MLA’s claims were “baseless”. He stated, “5 days before filing the fabricated FIR, Hon’ble CM Dr. @himantabiswa sir took him to the Residence of the Hon’ble Union Coal Minister Shri @JoshiPralhad ji at 9 am of 26th July, 2022 in order to help him in his trade union related matter.”

In another tweet Hazarika stated,”Mr. @KumarJaimangal has been regularly meeting HCM Dr.@himantabiswa sir. He should face the law for making a fraudulent allegation against the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and against those tribal MLAs”.

Congress alleged that BJP is trying to topple the JMM government in Jharkhand where Congress is also a partner and has offered MLAs ministerial berths and Rs 10 Crore to MLAs. Jaimangal in his FIR filed in Ranchi alleged that two MLAs that Kachchap and Bixal Kongari had asked him to travel to Kolkata and offered him money while Ansari asked him to travel to Guwahati to meet Sarma.

Sarma on Sunday said that several Congress leaders are in touch with him and he keeps on meeting them as he was associated with the party for over two decades. Sarma had joined the BJP in 2015 leaving Congress.

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