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Friday, September 24, 2021

Three held for ‘plot to topple’ Hemant Soren govt

On Saturday, police applied for 14 days judicial custody of all the three accused, Abhishek Dubey, Amit Singh and Niwaran Prasad Mahato.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Dumka |
Updated: July 25, 2021 8:26:52 am
Hemant SorenJharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. (Photo: file)

A social worker who contested the 2019 Assembly elections, a contract worker at Bokaro Steel Plant and the son of a PDS dealer have been arrested by the Jharkhand Police on charges of an alleged conspiracy to topple the coalition government in the state.

On Saturday, police applied for 14 days judicial custody of all the three accused, Abhishek Dubey, Amit Singh and Niwaran Prasad Mahato. Police had registered the case Thursday at the instance of the Congress’s Bermo MLA, Kumar Jaimangal, at Kotwali Police Station under IPC Sections 419 (party to criminal conspiracy) , 420 (cheating), 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The complaint as well as the press release issued by police did not specify how exactly the three planned to bring down the Hemant Soren government. Soren heads a coalition ministry of the JMM and Congress, with 49 MLAs in the House of 81.

As per Mahato’s affidavit filed with the Election Commission, he contested the 2019 Assembly polls on the ticket of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from Bokaro. He mentioned his Twitter handle as ‘@niwaranprasad’, which has posted pictures of him wearing the BJP’s stole. The affidavit also has a link to his Facebook page, where there are pictures of him with BJP Dhanbad MP Pashupati Nath, among other local leaders. It is not clear when the pictures were uploaded.

Asked about Mahato, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said: “Niwaran Prasad Mahato is not a BJP member to the best of my knowledge. As far as the case is concerned, if what police claim is true, then it has got wide ramifications. The state government should order a CBI inquiry.”

The gate pass issued by Bokaro Steel Limited to Amit Singh identifies him as a ‘Contract Worker’. The emergency number on it is of ‘Rohit Gupta’, a contractor with Bokaro Steel Limited. Gupta told The Sunday Express the information on the gate pass was correct, adding, “Singh may have been subcontracted by our company. I will be able to confirm Monday.”

IG, Operations, Amol V Homkar said he couldn’t reveal much about the alleged modus operandi of the three. “I am not in-charge of the investigation,” he said.

A press release by Ranchi SSP S K Jha said: “All the three accused have said they were involved in a conspiracy against the government and were planning to destabilise it.” In his complaint, MLA Jaimangal said he had been “receiving” information on attempts to destabilise the government in Jharkhand. “Attempts were made to tarnish many MLAs’ image and it was surprising to receive information that some in different places were engaged in political conspiracies and have camped in Ranchi indulging in hawala transactions of large amounts,” the complaint stated.

In the application submitted to the local court seeking judicial custody, Inspector Kamlesh Rai said they needed time to submit a chargesheet. “The friends of the accused escaped and police recovered Rs 2 lakh from them. Evidence is being collected in the form of CCTV footage from the hotels they stayed (in),” the police plea said.

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