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MP fights barbs, wife claims jewellery

Patna, July 9: BJP MP Giriraj Singh today said the cache of cash amounting to over Rs 1.14 crore recovered from four burglars who had robbed his flat on Monday belonged not to him, but to his relatives.

“The money belongs to my relatives but my political opponents are levelling baseless charges against me. These allegations will not stick,” Singh told The Telegraph by phone from Delhi, where he is attending the Lok Sabha session.

The “allegations” referred to by Singh were levelled in the Bihar Assembly today with members of the JDU and RJD saying the source of the money should be investigated.

The cash, stashed in four suitcases, was found in an autorickshaw being used by one of the thieves to escape from Patna. Besides the Indian currency notes, US$600, jewellery and valuables like high-end wristwatches were found on the man, identified as Dinesh.

Dinesh led the police to his other accomplices — Virendra Kumar, the security guard of Shivam Apartments in Anandpuri where Singh has a flat, the MP’s cook Laxman and personal bodyguard Roop Kamal. The quartet was remanded in judicial custody today.

Police, quoting the statement of the four men, said the money and valuables recovered were all stolen from the flat belonging to Singh, the MP from Nawada.

The value of the haul has raised eyebrows in political circles because Singh, in his nomination papers for the elections, had stated he had cash in hand of Rs 1.5 lakh and jewellery valued at a little over Rs 2 lakh. While the police are yet to get an exact valuation done of the recovered jewellery, sources said the ornaments and valuables found would be worth at least Rs 10 lakh.

Singh’s wife, Prabha Singh, however, has accepted that the valuables belonged to her. She has submitted an application to the police to claim the recovered items.

Though Singh took pains to distance himself from the haul, the police said the MP hadn’t told them anything specific regarding the recovery.

“The MP called me up late last evening and assured me he would return to Patna in a couple of days to explain his position,” SSP Manu Maharaaj said.

He said they had sought the help of the Enforcement Directorate because of the quantum of cash involved. “The case is related to recovery of a huge sum of money, besides foreign currency. So, we decided to seek the help of the agency which specialises in such work,” Maharaaj said.

Income tax officials visited SK Puri police station on Tuesday evening and checked the currency notes. “The recovered currency notes have stamps of nationalised banks having branches in Manipur, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat,” a source revealed.


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