| Members of the Economic Offences Unit at Ansari’s house in Sasaram. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary |
The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar police on Friday stumbled upon a diary of a Rohtas-based kendu leaves supplier having names of top Maoist leaders and some politicians receiving kickbacks from him over the past two decades.
The diary having details of transactions since 1995 was seized during raids on Md Kamal Ansari’s home and godown at Sasaram in Rohtas, around 150km west of Patna. Three persons, including Ansari’s two brothers and one of his aides, have been detained for interrogation. Ansari is absconding.
Senior officers, including inspector-general (IG) of EOU Praveen Vashishtha, superintendent of police (operations) Sohail Ansari and Rohtas superintendent of police Vikas Burman, interrogated the trio.
Sources said the diary seized during the search of Ansari’s house at Pratapganj (Sasaram) carried the names and cellphone numbers of at least 36 top Maoists leaders of Bihar and Jharkhand, including Kameshwar Baitha, Sudama Oraon and late Virendra Rana.
Baitha, a former Maoist leader, is at present an MP from Palamau in Jharkhand. Sudama, a zonal commander of the CPI(Maoist), is lodged in Sasaram divisional jail. Rana was killed by a breakaway faction in 2011.
IG Vashishtha confirmed the operation against the kendu leaves supplier having close connection with some hardcore Maoists. IG (Patna zone) S.M. Khopre was also present during the operation.
Late in the night, Vashishtha told The Telegraph over phone from Rohtas: “The raid is still on. I am not supposed to share details of the operation till it is over.”
A senior officer, who was part of the joint operation launched by the personnel of the forest department, district administration, Special Task Force and Central Reserve Police Force, said Ansari enjoyed the blessings of not only the Maoists, but also of some politicians. He, however, refused to disclose their names.
“Names of some political leaders were found in the diary. But Ansari’s connections with them are yet to be verified,” he added.