The state government has approved a proposal to confiscate ill-gotten property worth Rs 77 lakh belonging to Santosh Jha, a former Maoist leader operating in north Bihar.
Director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand said the proposal regarding the confiscation of Jha and his relatives’ property has got the seal of the home department and the process would start soon.
The police headquarters had submitted the proposal to the home department in September. Sources in the police headquarters said the property of the former zonal commander of the CPI(Maoist) would be confiscated under Section 25 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The state government had earlier announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for the arrest of Jha, who is believed to have taken shelter in Nepal. While Jha is a native of Dostian village under the jurisdiction of Purnahia police station in Sheohar district, his brother in-law Mritunjay Kumar alias Guddu Jha and his wife Anju Kumari are residents of Thumba village under the jurisdiction of Runnisaidpur police station in Sitamarhi district.
A report submitted to the police headquarters by incumbent Sitamarhi superintendent of police P.K. Sinha revealed that Jha and his relatives have accumulated huge property by collecting extortion (levy) money from proprietors of several private construction companies engaged in repair of roads and other development works in north Bihar. The report stated that Jha’s henchmen had collected Rs 22 lakh from BSC-C&C JV company, which was later recovered by the Sitamarhi police.
A case was lodged against Jha and his associates under sections 384 (extortion), 386 (criminal intimidation) and 387 (causing grievous hurt) of the IPC with the Runnisaidpur police station in Sitamarhi on June 26 last year. To tighten the noose around Jha, who is evading arrest for over a year, a Sitamarhi police team raided the hideouts of Jha’s brother-in-law Mritunjay and his associates on September 20.
The members of the raiding team were taken aback over the seizure of an agreement paper of M/s Arya Suppliers and Construction Company during the search of Mritunjay’s house in Sitamarhi. According to the seized paper, the office of M/s Arya Suppliers and Construction Company was located at Telephone Exchange Road in Sitamarhi town. Mritunjay and Raj Kumar Singh jointly operated the accounts, the paper stated.
The company has six partners — Raj Kumar Singh, Mritunjay Kumar, Mukesh Singh, Kudan Singh, Pramod Mishra and Hareshwar Singh. The raid on Mritunjay’s house led to seizure of the documents related to transaction of money from a Sitamarhi-based private bank.
“The Arya Suppliers and Construction Company was formed by Jha to bag petty development work contracts in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran and Muzaffarpur districts,” an investigating officer said.