NIA arrests wives of PLFI's absconding chief in terror funding case

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The NIA on Thursday arrested two women, the wives of banned Naxal outfit PLFI's absconding chief Dinesh Gope, in a terror financing case, an official said.

Hira Devi and Shakuntala Kumari, wives of Gope -- the chief of People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a proscribed Naxal organisation of Jharkhand -- were arrested in connection with the terror funding of the outlawed organisation in Ranchi, an official of the premier investigation agency said.

The NIA also conducted search at the women's houses in Kolkata and seized incriminating documents, the official said, adding that efforts were being made to arrest Gope.

The case pertains to the seizure of Rs 25.38 lakh cash which was being deposited in an SBI account in Ranchi on November 10, 2016, according to the official.

During investigation, it was established that the money was part of a bigger criminal conspiracy relating to channelizing of the extorted levy amount collected from the contractors/businessmen engaged in the developmental projects in Jharkhand and investing these funds into dubious shell companies formed with the partnership of PLFI associates and family members of Gope, the agency said.

Subsequently, Rs 42.79 lakh cash and other movable and immovable properties worth Rs 70 lakh were seized/attached in the case, the official said.

Transactions worth Rs 2.5 crore in two dozen bank accounts in the name of shell companies as well as in the name of individual family members of Gope including his both wives also surfaced during the investigation, he said.

The NIA has already filed charge-sheet against 10 arrested accused and one absconding accused, the official added.

The NIA has slapped charges of criminal conspiracy, extortion, forgery, and stringent provisions of anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against the accused. PTI SKL CPS