The Telegraph
Thursday , December 20 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hooch baron faces action

Patna, Dec. 19: The economic offences unit is all set to initiate action against illegal liquor mafia Mantu Yadav, who had amassed huge assets in several towns across the country.

At present, Yadav is lodged in a Gaya jail following his surrender in the hooch tragedy case in which at least 12 people were killed on December 10.

Last week’s search of Yadav’s house at Rampur in Gaya district had led to the seizure of documents related to the properties. A senior officer of the unit said the action against Yadav was delayed as the officials were busy gathering his criminal records. “At least nine cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping are pending against Yadav,” the officer said.

While seven cases were lodged against Yadav with Rampur police station, one case each was pending for investigation in Kotwali and Bodhgaya police stations. In addition, there were some other cases in which he had been given clean chit by the police, the officer said.

He said the unit would start confiscating his properties under the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 1944. “Yadav amassed properties through illegal means when his brother and RJD MLA Surendra Prasad Yadav was the excise minister during RJD rule,” the officer revealed.

The unit tried to get search order for Yadav’s Bindi Market house in Gaya town. “Had the team been allowed to search his Bindi Market house, some more evidences of his involvement in the illicit liquor trade would have been gathered,” the officer said.

Gaya deputy superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar said several registers containing details of the illicit liquor distribution from Yadav’s godown were seized during the joint raid conducted by the unit and the district police officers. He said Yadav had close connection with illicit liquor dealers of Jharkhand and other neighbouring states.

Gaya City superintendent of police Akhtar Hussain said Yadav was also an accused in the murder of a policeman, whose body was found near Rampur police station in 2003. “Yadav’s criminal antecedents date back to 1984,” he added. Preliminary investigation revealed that Yadav owned several plots of land and flats in Delhi, Uttarakhand (Dehra Dun) and Goa.

Director-general of police Abhayanand said the unit was chalking out a detailed strategy to nail the liquor mafia responsible for hooch tragedies in the state in the recent past. He did not rule out the possibility of Enforcement Directorate also initiating the process of confiscation of Yadav’s properties. “Action can be taken by both the agencies.”

Meanwhile, the Bhojpur police seized 10 registers from the godown of one Sanjay Yadav, which was taken on rent by Rakesh Singh, the alleged mastermind behind the hooch tragedy in Ara.

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