The Ajmer police on Friday recovered Rs 90 lakh “unaccounted” cash allegedly belonging to a poppy husk dealer in Barmer who is believed to be funded by a senior BJP leader and elected representative of the area.
The recovery from three employees of the dealer throws light about the illegal poppy husk trade in the region, police said.
The cash was recovered from an SUV after police intercepted the vehicle late on Saturday, said Beawar police station chief Anup Singh Chaudhary.
Three persons who were in the vehicle could not produce any documents in support of source or disposal of the cash and police seized it under Section 102 of the Code of criminal Procedure (CrPC), he said.
“Police arrested Kheraj Ram, Prem Kumar and Rawata Ram, all residents of Pachpadra town in Barmer under Section 151 of the CrPC. The trio said the cash belonged to Bhaira Ram, a poppy husk dealer from Barmer.”
The trio claimed that they were on the way to Neemuch in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh to pay excise duty and purchase of poppy husk from Nimbahera in Chittorgarh, said Ajmer SP of police Vikas Kumar. “They could neither produce any demand notice from the excise department nor show the source of the money,” he said.
“The cash was seized as it seemed suspicious. We have asked them to claim the money by furnishing the relevant documents.”
An official in the Barmer district excise department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Hindustan Times that the son of a local BJP leader funds the poppy husk trade, a large part of which is illegal and Bhaira Ram is just a front for official deals.
(With inputs from Zakir Hussain in Ajmer, Mukesh Mathrani in Barmer)