A BJP leader has been arrested in Kolkata with unaccounted cash worth Rs 33 lakh and illicit arms and ammunition, barely a week after police arrested a youth wing leader of the party in Tamil Nadu and seized Rs 20.5 lakh in cash, including wads of new Rs 2,000 notes.
Manish Sharma contested the last assembly election from Raniganj on a BJP ticket. Six others, including a Rajesh Jha, alias Raju were held by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police on Monday evening from an apartment in Baguiati on the outskirts of Kolkata. They were produced before a court on Tuesday and remanded to police custody.
“Out of Rs 33 lakh, Rs 31 lakh was in new currency in Rs 2,000 denomination. Seven firearms were also seized from their possession,” said an STF sleuth.
The BJP sought to control the damage following the incident. “Sharma was suspended from the party in June because of his illegal activities,” claimed Sayantan Bose, the state BJP secretary.
Sharma’s arrest is another embarrassment for the BJP after one of its members, Dilip Ghosh, who is also a doctor, was nabbed in the baby trafficking case by CID. The party has suspended Ghosh.
The police said that they were looking for Rajesh Jha and his two aides Partha Chatterjee and Lokesh Singh. A murder case is pending against Chatterjee and Singh. The sleuths came to know that Jha had purchased a flat in Baguiati, posing as an agro-product businessman.
“We have come to know that they had exchanged their old currencies with the new and were procuring firearms in the city,” said an STF sleuth. Jha, who was active in the coal mafia in Raniganj and Asansol for years and had earned a lot of black money.