EC team seizes cash, gold worth Rs 19 cr in Bellary

EC team seizes cash, gold  worth Rs 19 cr in Bellary

The ''Republic of Bellary'' once again lived up to its dubious distinction as a one-time illegal mining haven, with a huge haul of cash, financial instruments and valuables worth Rs 18.80 crore in three separate raids in the last 24 hours.

Also, explosives allegedly meant for booth capturing were recovered from a warehouse.

Breaking their previous record of seizing Rs 1.5 crore cash in Bellary, Election Commission’s flying squad, district administration, the police and Income Tax sleu­ths recovered Rs 8.76 crore cash from the office and residence of one Ramesh Parashuram Puriya alias Chor Babulal. Further search unearthed Kisan Vikas Patras of Rs 4.3 crore value, uncashed cheques worth Rs 5 crore and unaccounted gold biscuits.

“The total recovery of cash and other material from Puriya’s house is worth Rs 17.18 crore. He is a local financier who is learnt to have been active in mining business,” V Ponnuraj, Officer on Special Duty in the office of Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer said in Bangalore. Ponnuraj said it is suspected that the cash recovered from Babulal’s house may contain fake currency, which the I-T sleuths were verifying.  A case under Sections 171 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Reports from Bellary said the recovery of campaign material reportedly belonging to BJP candidate B Sriramulu from a local leader’s house has set district election officials verifying the claims.

District Election Officer Aditya Amalan Biswas said, apart from cash and cheques, documents pertaining to land were also found. The residences of Babulal’s son Shrikanth and daughter Prakruthi  were also raided and currency notes of various denominations seized.

Besides, a large cache of explosives were seized from a godown belonging to Puriya. I-T officials interrogated Puriya.

Based on a tip-off, another raid in Hospet yielded Rs 1.2 crore kept in a SUV and Rs 22 lakh from the house of the vehicle owner. A third raid on a house in Bellary led to Rs 20 lakh haul.

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