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HomeNewsRs 75 lakh transfer from businessman to 3 Jharkhand MLAs traced, claims...

Rs 75 lakh transfer from businessman to 3 Jharkhand MLAs traced, claims CID

Kolkata: West Bengal’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has claimed that it has traced the “reported” transfer of ₹75 lakh from businessman Mahendra Agarwal on July 21 to the three Jharkhand MLAs, who were arrested last Sunday in Howrah’s Panchla. The MLAs were arrested after an alleged high-level meeting with the top BJP leadership in Assam in connection with the horse-trading of MLAs in Jharkhand, people in the know said.

CID on Tuesday recovered more than ₹3.31 lakh in cash, 250 silver coins and several documents from the office of Agarwal in central Kolkata in connection with the arrest of the three Jharkhand MLAs and their two close aides.

The sleuths have reportedly intercepted CCTV footage on the hotel premises, which “shows a man entering the hotel at 3.53 pm on Saturday in a motorbike”. This man had allegedly received the cash from Agarwal. After receiving the cash, the MLAs left for Howrah’s Panchla where they were detained and ₹49 lakh in cash was recovered from them, sources told ET.

The CID officials were told that a bagwith cash of ₹49 lakh was allegedly handed over to the arrested Jharkhand MLAs’ aide Kumar Pratik, who had reached the Lalbazar office on a motorbike.

On interrogating Agarwal, the CID officials found that the “transfer of ₹49 lakh was the second such transfer”, sources said. The first transfer of cash amounting to ₹75 lakh was allegedly made on July 21, following a meeting on July 20 in Assam with the top BJP leaders there, sources said. Irfan Ansari from Jamtara assembly constituency and Rajesh Kachhap from Khijri (Scheduled Tribe) assembly constituency had reportedly come to Kolkata on July 21, sources in the agency said.

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According to CID sources, one Sidhartha Majumdar was a middleman and CID officers had gone to Delhi on Wednesday to search certain documents at his residence. However, they were restricted by Delhi Police. “The case involves seizure of huge cash from 3 MLAs of Jharkhand. Detaining & preventing the CID WB team to conduct lawful search will lead to disappearance of crucial evidence by the suspects, the responsibility of which will lie on the DP officers who prevented the search. @CPDelhi,” CID tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court rejected the appeal by the three MLAs seeking a CBI probe in the case.

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