ED seizes ₹20 crore cash in raids from domestic help of Jharkhand Minister’s aide

State Minister Alamgir Alam distanced himself from the raids, even as the Opposition BJP slammed the ruling JMM government for its alleged “corruption”

May 06, 2024 10:39 am | Updated 08:12 pm IST - Patna

A huge amount of “unaccounted” cash which was recovered by the Enforcement Directorate during searches of premises allegedly linked to an aide of Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam, in Ranchi, Monday, May 6, 2024.

A huge amount of “unaccounted” cash which was recovered by the Enforcement Directorate during searches of premises allegedly linked to an aide of Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam, in Ranchi, Monday, May 6, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday recovered a huge amount of “unaccounted cash”, worth ₹20 crore from the premises of the domestic help of Sanjiv Lal, personal secretary to Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam. The cash haul was part of raids at multiple sites across Ranchi by the probe agency that began on Monday morning. The cash was being counted to ascertain the exact amount, with counting machines being brought in to facilitate a speedy count. The amount was principally in the ₹500 denomination, and some jewellery was also recovered.

Given that Mr. Alamgir Alam also happens to be the leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the State Assembly, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Congress.

ED recovers ‘unaccounted’ cash from domestic help allegedly linked to Jharkhand Minister’s secretary

Sources said that during questioning, Mr. Jahangir Alam confessed that the money belongs to Mr. Lal and he has nothing to do with the cash. The cash amount was considerable and the ED was forced to employ a counting machine to wade through the notes.

Amar Kumar Bauri, the Leader of Opposition in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, alleged that the monies recovered were the hard earned capital of the people of Jharkhand. Mr. Bauri accused the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) government of defrauding the people of the State. Mr. Bauri accused the ruling government of attempting to buy the people’s mandate through the use of illegal monies.

“The ED has recovered huge amounts of cash from the house of Congress Minister Alamgir Alam’s close aide. The Congress loves cash, and they have stolen the hard-earned money of the people of Jharkhand. In the last four-and-a-half years, the JMM-Congress combine along with the RJD have looted Jharkhand and made it Lootkhand. It also proves that the ruling government wanted to misuse the money in the ongoing election,” Mr. Bauri said.

Senior BJP leader and Godda MP Nishikant Dubey posted a message on X (formerly Twitter) saying, “More than 30 crore rupees and counting continues. Today, the ED took a big action against Sanjeev Lal, personal secretary of Congress Legislative Party leader and Jharkhand government’s corruption king Hemant Soren’s Minister Alamgir Alam. Over 30 crore in cash was found at Sanjeev Lal’s residence. Story of Pradeep Yadav’s party.”

Mr. Yadav is the Congress candidate in this Lok Sabha election from the Godda Parliamentary seat. 

Another BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Deepak Prakash said that the people of Jharkhand are feeling humiliated by the act of the ruling party who is looting the money of Dalits, tribals, and poor.

“They were voted in power to serve the people of Jharkhand but they have engaged themselves in looting money meant for the welfare of tribals and backward,” Mr. Prakash said.

The ED conducted raids at several locations in Ranchi linked to Mr. Lal like 

Asked about the ED recovering huge cash from his personal secretary, Mr. Alamgir Alam said, “Sanjeev Lal is my PS and he is government official and they are recruited on the basis of their experience. Before working with me, he was PS of two other Ministers as well. I cannot say much more about him. I know whatever the media knows and the ED is handling the investigation; I can only speak after the results come out.”

In December 2023, the Income Tax department had conducted raids at sites linked to the Odisha-based distillery group owned by Jharkhand Congress MP Dhiraj Sahu and recovered ₹350 crore. 

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