Patna, July 8: Police arrested four persons within 24 hours of a theft at BJP MP Giriraj Singh’s flat at Anandpuri yesterday and recovered from them cash of Rs 1.14 crore, US$600 in currency notes and jewellery worth more than Rs 10 lakh.
The booty is purportedly what the four men cleaned out from the politician’s home, the police said, quoting the arrested quartet.
Among the men arrested are two members of the MP’s personal staff — his bodyguard, Roop Kamal, and cook Laxman.
If indeed the money does belong to Singh, he would have to explain how his cash in hand could increase nearly a 100 times in less than four months. In his affidavit submitted on March 19 at the time of filing his nomination for the elections, Singh mentioned having Rs 1.5 lakh as cash in hand.
Singh, the outspoken MP from Nawada, is in Delhi for the Lok Sabha session. In spite of repeated attempts by The Telegraph, Singh could not be reached for comment.
Singh, in his nomination paper for the Lok Sabha elections from Nawada, had disclosed movable assets worth Rs 70.1 lakh, which included Rs 1.5 lakh as cash in hand besides Rs 18.48 lakh as deposits in banks and other investments in shares, debentures, bonds, insurance etc.
He had shown immovable assets worth Rs. 4.1 crore. Singh had courted controversy and was arrested during the election campaign for stating that those against Narendra Modi should be sent to Pakistan.
The police are yet to prove that the cash and valuables recovered from the four men indeed belong to Singh.
“At this moment, the police want to reiterate the fact that these men have accepted that the cash and other valuables which have been recovered were stolen from the MP’s flat,” Patna’s police chief Manu Maharaaj told The Telegraph.
Around 3pm on Monday, the police received information that some unknown people had broken into Singh’s second floor flat at Shivam Apartments in Anandpuri, a central Patna locality, and had fled with valuables.
An officer at SK Puri police station, whose jurisdiction includes Anandpuri, said an FIR was lodged by one Jai, who identified himself as the personal assistant of Singh.
“The FIR was lodged but the complainant didn’t furnish details about the stolen articles. The FIR states that valuables and cash were stolen and that Singh, once he is back in Patna, will inform the police about the exact amount of money and other valuables missing,” an officer at the SK Puri police station told The Telegraph under cover of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Maharaaj, the senior superintendent of police (SSP), said a special team was formed for the investigation and instructions sent out to guard all entry and exit routes to and from Patna.
“It came to light that the security guard of the apartment, Virendra Kumar, had gone missing soon after the theft and we found he had criminal antecedents as well. Around 8pm, the police got information that an autorickshaw, which had four suitcases in it, was being driven at high speed towards the Sultanganj area from Gandhi Maidan. All police teams were alerted and the auto was intercepted at Pirbahore. The cops nabbed a man who was identified as Dinesh Kumar alias Guddu. The suitcases were opened and the police were surprised to find so much cash and ornaments. During interrogation, Guddu said he had robbed all this from the flat of Giriraj Singh at Shivam Apartments and was on way towards the Gai Ghat area of Patna City. His plan was to flee to Hajipur (across the Ganga),” Maharaaj said.
Dinesh, according to the police, said Virendra and he hatched the plot to rob the flat 15 days ago. Virendra, a native of Jehanabad district, was arrested near Anandpuri, while he was trying to flee to his native village.
Virendra, who was working as a security guard in the apartment for the past 11 months, corroborated Dinesh’s statement. Based on their statements, Laxman and Roop Kamal were picked up from the MP’s flat.
“All these belongings were stolen from the flat and Laxman planned the whole thing. He floated the idea and we all found it to be a good one. Laxman was always in the flat and he knew there was money. He told me whether I would be interested and I said yes,” Virendra told The Telegraph.
As is the procedure in cases concerning recovery of a large sum of money, the Patna police have written to the income tax department about the haul from the MP’s flat.