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    CID Bengal summons Assam-based businessman in Jharkhand cash haul case

    CID Bengal summons Assam-based businessman in Jharkhand cash haul case

    CID Bengal summons Assam-based businessman in Jharkhand cash haul case
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    By Kamalika Sengupta   IST (Updated)

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    The Assam-based businessman, Ashok Dhanuka, is likely to appear before the CID in Kolkata at 10 am on Monday, sources said.

    The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has summoned Assam businessman Ashok Dhanuka in connection with the Jharkhand cash seizure case, sources said on Saturday. Dhanuka is expected to appear before the agency in Kolkata at 10 am on Monday, they said.
    Sources claimed that CID officials issued a notice to Ashok Kumar Dhanuka under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to appear in Kolkata's Bhabani Bhawan on Monday. CID officials in Guwahati went to Dhanuka's residence to serve the notice, however, his house was already guarded by Assam police, sources said.
    Later, "the West Bengal Police went to local police station (in Assam), met senior officers and finally made their way to this house to serve the notice...", sources said. They pasted the notice on the wall of Dhanuka's residence since he was absent.
    The CID suspects Dhanuka to be a very influential person. He is suspected to have money transaction link with Jharkhand MLAs, said sources .
    The Jharkhand cash haul case
    Last week, the three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand -- Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari -- were arrested by the West Bengal Police after over Rs 40 lakh were seized from their SUV in Howrah. The MLAs and two other persons, including their driver, were arrested after they failed to answer the police as to why they were carrying such a huge amount of cash.
    "They could not state the reason for carrying such a huge amount of cash. We are not satisfied by their claim that they came here to purchase sarees meant to be distributed among tribal women. We have arrested them for further investigation," an officer told PTI. The five accused were booked for criminal conspiracy and other sections including that under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
    The case was later transferred to the West Bengal CID from the Howrah Rural Police. Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court dismissed the petition by the accused seeking transfer of the case to the CBI or any other central agency. The court observed that the accused cannot choose the investigating agency.
    The court said that since the seizure of cash and arrests were made in Howrah district of West Bengal, the state CID is entitled to probe the case. However, The MLAs had claimed that the case allegedly involves other states also and as such the West Bengal Police cannot probe the case, news agency PTI said.
    Meanwhile, a senior CID officer claimed that the cash recovered from the three MLAs was delivered to them by a Kolkata-based businessman through hawala. The CID raided the office of the businessman, identified as Mahendra Agarwal, and recovered Rs 3 lakh in cash, several bank passbooks and 250 silver coins, officials said.
    Sources in the CID said that these MLAs have Guwahati connection as they visited Guwahati twice. "All three MLAs, along with a mediator, had gone to Guwahati where a deal was struck with someone influential. The three MLAs then flew back to Kolkata and put up at a Sudder Street hotel," the CID officer was quoted by PTI as saying.
    The case has taken a political twist with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to topple the government in Jharkhand. They party also said Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma was behind the plot.
    As the Congress dragged in the name of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the alleged conspiracy, the BJP rubbished these allegations, claiming that the grand old party was trying to hide its own corruption after the cash was found.
    (With inputs from PTI)
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