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Devbrat Patnaik

Bargarh: The election flying squad today seized cash worth Rs 12 lakh from the vehicle of BJD leader from Bargarh, Prem Kishore Patel, during an inspection at Bhatli Baulsingha area.

While the squad has begun verification of the recovered cash, owner of the vehicle (bearing registration number OD 176 2323) Prem Patel stated that the cash was being carried by his manager with all the legal documents. "I am the owner of a petrol pump. My manager was carrying the money to deposit it in the PNB Main Branch. He had all the filled-up vouchers of pump and even the recommendation of the branch manager. My vehicle was stopped for frisking as per the guidelines of EC. Yes, that's my vehicle but I wasn't present in the car or during inspection."

After an investigation following confirmation that the vehicle belonged to Patel, Bhatli Additional Tehsildar Ramkrushna Mishra, said, "Rs 12 lakh cash was found in the car along with an NEFT deposit slip of PNB Bargarh Main branch. The officials are counting the cash while the bank manager has submitted a bank statement. Further verification is underway."

A similar incident was reported three days back when the election flying squad seized Rs 1.95 lakh from the car of Congress MLA candidate from Champua, Jadumani Barik near Shankarpur area in Keonjhar. Barik was later interrogated by the officials at Champua Police station.

Prior to that, another Congress leader was held during an inspection by the flying squad. Reportedly, police had recovered Rs 1,09,500 from Koraput Congress candidate Krushna Chandra Kuldeep's car during checking near OSAP battalion on National Highway 26. An investigation was later launched to ascertain the source of money and where it was being carried by Kuldeep.

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