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CBI raids house of JMM MLA

Ranchi, Feb. 27: CBI searched JMM MLA Simon Marandi’s house in Dhurwa today and is believed to have stumbled upon two diaries, property papers and details of two bank accounts.

The raids, being conducted against MLAs suspected to have vitiated the Rajya Sabha poll process in 2010 and 2012, were in continuation of the CBI’s efforts of the last few days when it managed to search Marandi’s houses at Litipara and Hirapur in Pakur district.

During the Pakur raids, the CBI seized several property purchase documents which were later verified with the district’s land registry department. “His (Marandi) house in Ranchi could not be searched the last time as he was not present. His house was sealed and a fresh search was carried out today,” DIG CBI S.K. Bhagat said.

Marandi was being probed for his alleged role in the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections wherein a television report alleged that as many as five MLAs — Rajiv Ranjan (Congress), Umashankar Akela (BJP), Yogendra Sao (Congress), Sawna Lakra (Congress) and Simon Marandi (JMM) — were casting their votes in exchange for money.

But, CBI sources hinted that there were a few common strands in the modus operandi of the 2010 Rajya Sabha case with that of the 2012 case when Rs 2.15 crore cash was seized from a vehicle linked to a Jamshedpur-based businessman contesting as a Rajya Sabha candidate.

“You cannot de-link both the cases. We suspect some common faces were involved in both instances,” a CBI officer said, but refused to divulge further details.

CBI was now busy scrutinising documents officers seized from various MLAs during the recent raids. “That could take the whole of March,” confided the officer.


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