The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), on August 7, summoned Guwahati-based businessman Ashok Dhanuka in connection with the cash seizure from three Jharkhand MLAs at Howrah.
A team of CID officials visited Dhanuka’s residence at Athgaon and handed over a notice to him under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to appear before Bhabani Bhawan of Kolkata on August 8.
“Bengal CID team also met with senior officers of the city police and came to this house to serve the notice. They stuck the notice on the wall of Dhanuka’s residence since he was away,” sources said.
Notably, Dhanuka’s residence was guarded by Assam Police personnel during the visit of the Bengal CID team indicating that the state police has not cooperated with the Bengal team.
Dhanuka has been suspected of having a monetary transaction link with Jharkhand Congress MLAs to topple the JMM-Congress government in the state.
On July 29, the three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand – Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari – were arrested by West Bengal police after more than Rs 49 lakh were seized from their SUV in Howrah. The MLAs and two others, including their driver, were arrested after failing to answer police as to why they were carrying such a large amount of cash. The case was later transferred to West Bengal CID by Howrah Rural Police.
Meanwhile, a senior CID officer claimed that the money recovered from the three deputies was given to them by a Kolkata-based businessman via hawala. The CID raided the office of the businessman, identified as Mahendra Agarwal, and recovered Rs 3 lakh in cash, several bank books and 250 silver coins, officials said.
CID sources said that these deputies have a connection to Guwahati as they have visited the city twice. “The three deputies, accompanied by a mediator, had gone to Guwahati where an agreement was reached with an influential person. The three deputies then returned to Kolkata and settled in a hotel in Sudder Street,” they added.