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Gangster faces property probe

Patna, Jan. 8: Gangster Pradumna Sharma alias Mantu would be brought here tomorrow on transit remand for interrogation in several crime cases that date back to 1998.

A special task force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police arrested Mantu, who had Rs 10-lakh reward on him, in Lucknow on Sunday afternoon.

S. Anand, the deputy superintendent of police of Uttar Pradesh STF, said a court today allowed the Bihar police team, camping in Lucknow since yesterday, to take the gangster on transit remand. “The Bihar police team is expected to leave with Sharma late in the evening,” said Anand, the brain behind the gang leader’s arrest.

Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said at least 10 cases of murder and extortion were pending against Mantu in Patna and Muzaffarpur districts. “We have got permission of the courts concerned to take Mantu on judicial remand,” he said, adding that a case was earlier lodged with the economic offences unit (EOU) at the police headquarters. “The EOU is trying to gather information about Mantu’s properties amassed through illegal means,” the IG said.

During interrogation, Mantu, a native of Bahlolpur village in Saran district, told the police that the money seized from his possession during Sunday’s operation was handed over to him by his associates — Rajiv and Dilip — in Varanasi. “The money was paid to him (Mantu) as commission by a contractor to manage a contract in favour of his firm,” an investigating officer quoted Mantu as saying.

Anand said that Mantu was staying in a palatial house in upscale Ashinana Nagar, Lucknow, valued at about Rs 1 crore. He had purchased the house for Rs 50 lakh about two-and-a-half years ago and was staying there with his wife and two children — a daughter who reads in Class X and son, a student of Class VIII. Anand said the Uttar Pradesh police could not have an inkling of his criminal antecedents as he was working as a property dealer. “The residents could know about him only after the Bihar police arrived here and disclosed his background,” he added.


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