Sunday, March 7

In poll-bound Bihar, police seize Rs 65 lakh from 2 vehicles in Kishanganj

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Ahead of the Bihar assembly election, police in Kishanganj district seized cash of over Rs 65 lakh from two vehicles near the Bihar-Bengal border late Sunday evening.

The cash was allegedly meant for use in election to influence voters, police said on Monday.

This is the largest sum of money that has been seized in Kishanganj ever since the Model Code of Conduct came into force in the state, police said.

Till date over Rs 12.65 crore in cash has been seized across the state by different law-enforcing agencies since September 25, according to the State Election Commission (SEC).

According to the Kishanganj’s superintendent of police Kumar Ashish, the vehicle of one of the accused identified as Babloo Choudhary, a resident of Jamshedpur, was intercepted during a routine checking at Rampur Check post on National Highway 31.

“His Innova vehicle coming from Dalkola was randomly stopped for checking and Rs 60.26 lakh in cash was found in the boot of the vehicle,” he said.

During interrogation, Babloo said that the cash was meant for distribution among labourers of Samsung Tea Estate, New Jalpaiguri but he could not provide any valid documents.

“We have alerted the Income Tax department as well as the Election Commission, who will look into the matter and probe why such a large sum of money was being transported in cash”, said Ashish.

The police officer said another sum of Rs 5 lakh was seized from one Jitendra Kumar Mahto of Siliguri who had driven into Kishanganj Sunday night.

Polling in Kishanganj is scheduled on November 7 in the third and final phase.

Officials in the SEC said that besides seizure of Rs 12.65 crore, the Bihar police realized Rs 17.09 crore from vehicle checking drives. Police officials said there is a bar on any individual carrying more than Rs 50,000 under the Election Model Code of Conduct.

A total of 1,644 check-posts are functional across the state where a large number of state police and paramilitary personnel are deployed. Police and other law-enforcing agencies have also seized Nepalese currency worth Rs 69.85 lakh.

The biggest seizure so far was in Darbhanga on October 6. On that day police seized Rs 1.11 crore seized from an SUV on Jatmalpur bridge under the Bishanpur police station area.