A grey Maruti Swift carrying Rs 3 crore in cash was stopped by police in Ghaziabad’s Model Town area near NH-24 Thursday. Occupants of the car said the money belonged to BJP and was being transferred from the party headquarters in Delhi to its Lucknow office and also showed a letter to support their claim. Police, however, took them to the police station and contacted Income Tax officials to verify the claims before letting them go.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh said: “It is a routine transaction between two offices and is also shown in account books.” UP BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya said the party headquarters had sent the money for construction of district-level offices. While UP BJP treasurer, Rajesh Agrawal, said he was unaware of any cash being sent, state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya said the party’s central office had sent the money to UP for construction of district-level offices. Maurya said the cash was supposed to be distributed across different districts.
Sources in Income Tax department said the Kanpur branch of the department was looking into the matter.
According to police, the car (HR 26 AR 9662) was stopped on NH-24 around 9.30 am. “Traffic police were conducting a routine check and saw two travel bags on the car’s backseat. When they inquired, they were told that the bags contained Rs 3 crore in cash. The occupants, Siddhartha Shukla and Anoop Aggarwal, said the money belonged to BJP and was being transferred from the party’s office in Delhi to Lucknow. The car is registered in the name of Gurgaon resident Akshit Mishra, who is related to one of the occupants. No one was detained or arrested,” said Ghaziabad SSP K S Emmanuel.
He added that police then informed Income Tax department officials. “Such cases are not under our jurisdiction. So we informed Income Tax department,” he added.
The letter in possession of the occupants was addressed to “whomsoever it may concern”. “This is certified that the Bharatiya Janata Party central office, New Delhi, is sending party fund Rs 3 crore (Three crore only) to BJP state office, Uttar Pradesh, for party activities thru Mr Anoop Agarwal ji. The bearer is our party worker of Uttar Pradesh unit. His mobile number is…you are requested to cooperate for safe transfer,” (sic) the letter read, according to police sources.
The cash was eventually handed back after I-T officials reached the police station and examined it. “The occupant’s statements were recorded. I-T officials will conduct a separate inquiry and decide if a case needs to be lodged,” Emmanuel said.
BJP leader Ashok Monga alleged that one of the traffic policemen demanded a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from occupants of the car. SSP rejected the allegations.