Monday, 30th October 2017

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Crores-in-suitcase riddle yet to be solved

Bulk of cash in tenant’s room

By Our Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 22.11.19, 1:01 AM
  • Updated 22.11.19, 1:01 AM
  • 2 mins read
Pushpa Verma, wife of Suresh Prasad Verma, in front of her house in Mango, Jamshedpur, on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

Anti-Corruption Bureau officials have still not been able to trace the source of Rs 2.45 crore that was unearthed from a junior engineer’s house in Mango on November 15.

Following the discovery of the cash stash, the ACB had arrested Suresh Prasad Verma, 58, junior engineer in the rural development department’s Seraikela division, and Alok Ranjan, 30, who used to stay on the first floor of the two-storey house.

Ranjan is a lawyer and nephew of Birendra Ram, 58, the chief engineer of Subernarekha Multi-purpose Project and special division.

Ram’s wife Rajkumari Devi had joined the BJP three months ago and had thrown a lavish party at a Bistupur-based hotel on November 6 after filing her nomination from the Jugsalai Assembly segment in the hope of a party ticket.

During the raid, the bulk of the cash was found from Ranjan’s room.

Deputy superintendent of police (ACB) Arvind Kumar Singh said: “Only Rs 65,000 and gold ornaments weighing 100 grams were found from the ground floor of the double-storey building where Verma stays. Over Rs 2.44 crore was recovered from the rented portion that was used by Ranjan.”

Singh said they had interrogated both Verma and Ranjan.

“While Verma said he did not know anything about the cash recovered from the second floor of his house, Ranjan said he would only speak about the money in the court,” DSP Singh said.

Both Verma and Ranjan were forwarded to Chaibasa divisional jail on November 16.

Verma’s wife Pushpa said Ram, whom her husband knew, had come to their house five years ago and taken on rent the second floor for his nephew.

“Ram had then said he possessed two duplex in Green Vatika at Mango. I asked him why he was keen on taking a portion of our house on rent if he already had two duplex. But he couldn’t give a satisfactory reply. Ram had never turned up at our house since then,” Pushpa told this correspondent.

Pushpa wondered why his husband would be caught taking a bribe of only Rs 10,000 if he had Rs 2.45 crore in his home.

“My husband must have been framed. An impartial probe by a higher investigation agency can only unfold the truth,” she said.

Verma was on November 14 arrested by the ACB for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from contractor Vikas Kumar Sharma.

The ACB had sealed Verma’s house and found Rs 2.45 crore stored in suitcases during a raid the next day.