Kolkata, April 2 (SocialNews.XYZ) Raju Jha, the coal trader killed in a shootout at Saktigarh in East Burdwan district of West Bengal, had a criminal record.
He was on killed late Saturday evening. As per police records, towards the closing years of the previous Left Front regime in West Bengal before 2011, Jha's name came in the police reports following his involvement in a bicycle-theft racket in the coal belt of Raniganj area in the then Burdwan district and now West Burdwan district.
According to police sources, the coal smuggling racket was active in that region since then and shortly the deceased coal trader entered the illegal smuggling of coal transport racket. As he started earning handsome amounts from that illegal business, he slowly began diversifying his business areas to Volvo bus service and hotel businesses. All these developments happened between 2004 and 2011 that is during the last few years of the previous Left Front regime.
In July 2011, a couple of months after the Trinamool Congress regime started in West Bengal, police arrested Jha at Raniganj, but came out on bail. Since then he was arrested a multiple times. However, those arrests could not be any hurdle for his business growth in various spheres.
In the recent past, he was also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) relating to the central agency's ongoing investigation in the multi-crore coal smuggling scam in the state.
Before the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, Jha joined the BJP and was seen in several campaign programmes for the party for the elections. However, his political activities reduced to a great extent after he was denied a ticket by the saffron camp for that election.
Late Saturday evening, Jha was killed after a couple of miscreants shot at him, while he was standing with his associates in front of shop at a sweetmeat hub on National Highway-19 in East Burdwan district. His associate Brotin Bandopadhyay was injured in that shootout and is currently under treatment at a hospital.
Meanwhile, the police on Sunday tracked the blue-coloured vehicle used in the shootout on Saturday. The vehicle was tracked near the Saktigarh railway station. Police suspect that the assailants left the car near the station and escaped through train.