NEW DELHI, March 3 (PTI): Striking a blow to a funding source of left-wing extremism, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has attached 152 bank accounts and special term deposit receipts and a mutual fund account containing more than Rs 20 crore belonging to a firm and its different partners.
This is the largest-ever amount attached by the federal agency in cases pertaining to the left-wing extremism, an official of the agency said.
A total of 152 bank accounts, including 124 special term deposit receipts, and one SBI Mutual Fund account containing more than Rs 20.65 crore belonging to M/s Santosh Construction and its different partners were attached under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a spokesperson of the NIA said.
The official said these accounts had earlier been frozen under the provisions of the CrPC but have been found to be “proceeds of terrorism” during investigations warranting their “attachment” under the UAPA.
“Investigations had revealed that the accused, Mrityunjay Kumar Singh alias Sonu Singh, one of the partners of M/s Santosh Construction, had a close nexus with top CPI(Maoist) cadres. He had provided cash to Ravindra Ganjhu, a regional committee member of CPI(Maoist), for furtherance of Maoist activities,” the spokesperson said.
The NIA said these facts have come to light during the investigation of the case pertaining to the attack on a police control room (PCR) vehicle of Chandwa Police Station and killing of four police personnel and looting of their arms, ammunition on November 22, 2019 at Lukaiya More in Latehar district of Jharkhand by the armed cadres of CPI (Maoist) led by Ganjhu.
“A day before this incident, at Beerjangha forest, Singh met Ganjhu and gave him Rs 2 lakh, which was used for preparation and execution of the attack. NIA had taken over the investigation of this case in June 2020,” the spokesperson said.
In October 2020, the NIA had seized over Rs 2.5 lakh from his house, which was also found to be “proceeds of terrorism” and therefore attached in April 2022.
“Investigations have shown that Singh continued to fund the CPI (Maoist) and their activities, even after the Lukaiya More incident. He gave Rs 5 lakh to couriers of Ganjhu, namely Baijnath Ganjhu, Rajesh Ganjhu and Kunwar Ganjhu, in January 2020. The couriers were intercepted with this money and a case was registered at Chandwa Police Station. Investigation of this case has been transferred to NIA as well,” the spokesperson said.
During investigations, the bank accounts had been frozen by the NIA between February 2021 and February 2023.
M/s Santosh Construction initially moved the Jharkhand High Court by way of a writ petition for unfreezing the six major bank accounts, but the court dismissed its petition in August 2022. It also filed a plea before the Supreme Court which was also dismissed on January 3.