The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) claimed on Tuesday that Three Jharkhand MLAs caught With around Rs 50 lakh they were “part of a plot to overthrow the state government” and their “indirect links with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma through an influential person close to the BJP-led center are highly suspected”.
Suspecting that the money was arranged by a local stock dealer for MLAs, the CID raided the dealer’s office near police headquarters in Lale Bazaar on Tuesday and claimed to have seized more than Rs 3,000 in cash, 250 silver coins and documents.
“Certainly, they (the MLAs arrested) were part of a plan to overthrow the government of Jharkhand. Not directly, we highly suspect that they were in contact with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma through someone close to the center. We found their links,” a senior CID official said. For the Indian Express on condition of anonymity, it is a complex economic crime.
The officer said the CID was in the process of checking the call records of the three MLAs, but refused to reveal the name of the person who acted as a liaison between the MLAs and Assam CM.
The CID officer, who has been chasing the money trail, said investigators suspect the dealer’s role in arranging cash for MLAs. However, the merchant was not arrested until the filing of this report.
The CID is now investigating the hawala angle in the case.
According to CID sources, the three MLAs visited a hotel – “they knew the owner personally” – on Sudder Street in Kolkata for a short time on Saturday. CCTV footage of the hotel and staff data confirmed that MLAs spent just six minutes (3.04pm to 3.10pm) in room 106 rejuvenating. “Then they left for a restaurant and stayed there until 3.50 pm,” CID sources said, adding that they collected CCTV footage.
CID officials have already confirmed that the MLA traveled to Guwahati on Friday before arriving in Kolkata. However, during interrogation, Ansari claimed that he visited Guwahati in connection with his son’s admission to a school, CID sources said.