Siliguri: Chairman of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and Gorkha Jana Mukti vice-president Pradip Pradhan was sent to judicial custody along with eight others for 14 days today in connection with the sale of an antique coin alleged to be a fake.
Two others - Sanjib Mitra who had offered to sell the coin--and Sachin Bike, also a GTA member, were remanded to police custody for five days by acting Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Siliguri Keya Mondal.
The 11 had been arrested from a hotel here last night by policemen in plain clothes following complaints by a buyer who had alleged that the coin was a fake and Rs 50000 had been taken as advance for it from him.
Mitra had sought to sell the coin for Rs 13 lakh.
Among those sent to judicial custody along with Pradhan was GJM Vidyarthi Parishad leader Dipen Chhetri.
Earlier in the day, DCP, Siliguri Police Commissionerate, OG Paul, told a press conference here that all 11 men had been booked under Sections 120(A) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of IPC.
He said Mitra, a resident of Siliguri, had offered to sell the coin to Ravi Kirtania, a resident of Jalpaiguri, on February 23 and had accepted Rs 50,000 as advance for the same.
Kirtania, who had been given a picture of the coin, had consulted a numismatist who on seeing it had told him that the artefact was a fake. He had then gone to the police.
Kirtania had called Mitra to a hotel at Pradhannagar area last night on the pretext of paying him the rest of the money. Police in plain clothes arrested Mitra, Pradhan and the nine others from there, Paul said.