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Money seized from Jharkhand MLAs given to them in Kolkata, says Bengal CID
Kolkata, Aug 1 - Sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department of the West Bengal Police which is probing the cash recovery from three Jharkhand legislators at Panchal in Howrah district on Saturday evening, have reportedly got clues that the little over Rs 48 lakhs that was recovered from the boot of their car was handed to them in Kolkata.
CID sources said they have come across some CCTV footage which shows that the three MLAs checked into a hotel on Sudder Street in central Kolkata on Saturday morning. Sources added that they did not register.
"They checked into a room and soon came out and entered the hotel bar. Soon a fourth person joined them and after some interaction that fourth person left. But soon he returned with a bag which he handed over to the three MLAs. We think that the bag contained the cash that was recovered from the boot of the car the three MLAs were travelling in," a CID source said.
He said that a trader based out of central Kolkata is under their scanner.
Sources confirmed that after the fourth person left, the three MLAs spent some time in the hotel bar drinking beer, following which they too left the hotel.
CID sleuths have questioned the receptionist of the hotel who confirmed that he did not insist on their filling the hotel register on the instructions of the hotel owner. The sleuths are interrogating the three MLAs both on the source of the money and why it was given to them.
On Saturday evening, the three MLAs -- Irfan Ansari from Jamtara Assembly constituency, Rajesh Kacchap from Khijri (Scheduled Tribe) constituency and Naman Bixal Kongari from Kolebira (Scheduled Tribe) constituency -- were nabbed by the police at Howrah's Panchla, with the cash in the boot of their SUV.
The MLAs told the police that the cash was meant for purchasing sarees from the wholesale market at Burrabazar in central Kolkata to distribute in their constituencies on the occasion of the forthcoming World Tribal Day. The MLAs and two others arrested with them, including the driver, have been remanded to CID custody till August 10.
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