Mamata Banerjee has claimed that the recovered cash was Hawala money meant for the BJP
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today blamed the BJP after more than Rs 93 lakh of unaccounted for money was found in a car in Jalpaiguri district. An investigation by the local police is under way.
The money was found hidden in the spare tyre of the vehicle during a search operation yesterday. Five people travelling in the car were arrested, police said.
"We had to dismantle the stepney to recover the cash, which was being smuggled by five people," a police officer said.
When asked about the incident, the Bengal Chief Minister said: "I know this is Hawala and all this money is coming for the BJP. They are bringing in cash, bombs and guns, along with central security forces, so that the state police cannot check them."
She added: "I request the BJP leaders to be watchful. Let us fight each other politically, not by force."
Reacting to Ms Banerjee's accusations, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh described her as a "pathological liar".
"People know from whose houses millions of rupees in cash have been seized. We have seen from where the police recovered arms, bombs and cash. Yet, she (Banerjee) is claiming to be clean ... She cannot keep on lying. People are not fools," Mr Ghosh said.
Meanwhile, supporting the Chief Minister's claim, CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged that a "dangerous force" like the BJP was smuggling in goons, arms and money into West Bengal.
The money was being smuggled in an SUV bearing a Bihar registration number. On searching the vehicle, 94 large bundles of cash were found in it. The amount is estimated to be around Rs 93 lakhs, police said.
According to sources, police were tipped off that some people coming towards Telipara were carrying a huge amount of money in a vehicle down Asian Highway-48, a 276-km transnational route connecting India and Bhutan.
Based on informer inputs, police from Binnaguri outpost stopped a car with five people in it. As the spare tyre in the car raised suspicion, the vehicle was seized and brought to Banarhat Police Station for further investigation, when 94 bundles of cash were found hidden inside the stepney.
"The amount of recovered cash is reported to be Rs 93,83,000. Five people have been arrested," Biswajit Mahato, the Superintendent of Police, Jalpaiguri, told reporters.