Police seizes Rs 1.13 lakhs from BJP\'s WB candidate, FIR registered

The ex-IPS officer claims the money was hers, says no faith on the Election Commission.

Kolkata: Barely two days before facing the Lok Sabha Election BJP candidate of Ghatal in West Midnapore Bharati Ghosh has landed in fresh trouble after she has been booked in an FIR on non-bailable charges by the police following the recovery of 1.13 lakhs in cash by the cops from her car which led to her detention of nearly four hours late on Thursday night.

Sections 353 (assault/use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (criminal intimidation), 186 (obstruction to public servant in discharge of his public duty), 143 (member of an unlawful assembly), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code have been slapped in a case at the Pingla police station on the former IPS officer.

Section 353 is a non-bailable offence. At around 11 pm a static surveillance team comprising of cops intercepted Ms Ghosh's car at Mangalbar in Pingla following a complaint by the local Trinamul Congress workers who alleged that she was carrying huge amount of cash for its distribution to the voters. While searching her car the cops recovered Rs 1,13,895. Ms Ghosh and his aides then got down and confronted them.

However the BJP candidate not only refused to sign in the seizure list in front of the cops but also allegedly forced them to delete the videography they were conducting. She was detained by the police for four hours during which she was questionned before being allowed to go at around 2.45 am. On Friday morning the office of Chief Electoral Officer (West Bengal) sought a report from district magistrate (West Midnapore) on the entire incident and apprised the Election Commission.

Ms Ghosh however claimed that the money was not illegal. "I raise election fund and using it legally. Then it can not be a crime. I am giving you the papers to prove that I have withdrawn the money from bank. It can not be a crime if the money withdrawn from bank is found with me. Why was the money, belonging to me, seized? Am I not entitled to carry any money?" she asked.

The BJP candidate alleged, "The seizure implies that I can not carry a penny even with me while going out. They seized each and every note from my bag. How can they do it? Where is the EC? I have been complaining to the EC on various issues. But there has been no action. I have lost my faith in that agency."

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