Statesman News Service
KOLKATA/MIDNAPORE, Feb. 15. — Manoranjan Singh alias Dhumal Singh, an independent MLA in Bihar, who had been an inmate of a prison in Ranchi, was taken into custody of the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday in connection with a train robbery on board the Geetanjali Express in July last year.
According to police, Manoranjan Singh, who had won the last Assembly elections in Bihar with support from the Janata Dal (United), was a key conspirator in the Rs 99 lakh train robbery near the Jhargram railway station where four armed men looted cash belonging to a private bank in Kolkata. The cash was being taken to the bank’s branch in Jamshedpur on 10 July, 2005. Manoranjan Singh, who represents the Baniapur constituency in Chapra district of Bihar, was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by the additional chief judicial magistrate, Jhargram, Midnapore West, Mrs Sudeshna Dey Chatterjee, in whose court he was produced today by the CID. He has 27 cases pending against him including that of murder and extortion.
Four men, Ramjeet Singh, Suman Kumar Pathak, Debendra Singh and Mukesh Singh had been arrested by the CID in this connection earlier. While Ramjeet and Suman were arrested from Chapra, Bihar, Mukesh and Debendra were arrested in Kolkata.
“The conspiracy of the robbery was hatched at Mukesh’s house at Hyde Road. Two armed private security guards who were scheduled to carry the cash belonging to the private bank were also involved in the conspiracy. After arresting Ramjeet and Suman, we learnt that two more persons, Sailendra Singh and Satinder Singh, were also involved in the the case,” a senior CID officer said.
Investigations revealed that both Sailendra and Satinder had been sheltered by the arrested MLA, Manoranjan Singh, after the train robbery and that he received a share of the booty in return. All this happened while he was still in prison.