Kerala highway robbery chargesheet seeks ED, I-T probe into money source

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Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
July 24, 2021 2:58:15 am

It said BJP leaders such as party's state unit chief K Surendran and secretary (organisation) M Ganeshan were privy to movement of the cash.

Kerala Police on Friday submitted chargesheet in the case of highway robbery of Rs 3.50 crore in Thrissur district on April 3, three days before the Assembly polls, stating that the looted cash belonged to BJP’s election fund. The money, it said, was brought from Karnataka and was to be handed over to BJP’s Alappuzha district treasurer K G Kartha.

The chargesheet, which names 22 people, recommended a probe by central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department into the source of the looted money.

It said BJP leaders such as party’s state unit chief K Surendran and secretary (organisation) M Ganeshan were privy to movement of the cash.

The saffron party has earlier distanced itself from the case and said that police cannot link it to the party.

According to the chargesheet, submitted in the court of first-class magistrate in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, Kozhikode-based RSS worker A K Dharmarajan, who allegedly has links with hawala dealings, had brought the cash from Karnataka, allegedly at the behest of Ganeshan and BJP state office secretary G Gireeshan.

A source in the Crime Branch, which probed the case, said, “We have stated that the looted money belonged to BJP. We have told the court that if any election offence is detected or more (looted) money is recovered at a later stage, further investigation will be held. We will submit a report to ED and I-T Department, seeking their probe into the source of the fund….. In our probe into the highway robbery, it is not necessary to go into the source of funds.”

Twenty-two people named in the chargesheet have all been accused of either involvement in looting or stashing the booty. They were charged under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 395 (dacoity) and 212 (harbouring offender). In all, 19 BJP leaders, including Surendran and Ganeshan, have so far been questioned by police. All of them figure as prosecution witnesses.

According to the chargesheet, the complainant, Dharmarajan, has close links with Surendran and Ganeshan, who is also senior RSS pracharak in Kerala.

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