Illegal mining case: CBI conducts searches; likely to summon Akhilesh, Prajapati
New Delhi, Jan. 5 (IANS): The CBI on Saturday searched 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the residence of a woman IAS officer, a Samajwadi Party leader and a BSP leader, in connection with its investigation into a case of illegal sand mining, with sources saying the role of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who held the portfolio of mining, will also be probed.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told reporters that the agency registered a case on January 2 against 11 people, including a few known public servants and unknown public servants and others, under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency has named the woman IAS officer B. Chandrakala, a former Hamirpur District Magistrate, miner Adil Khan, geologist/mining officer Moinuddin, SP leader Ramesh Kumar Mishra, his brother Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Ram Ashray Prajapati, a former clerk in the mining department in Hamirpur, Sanajy Dikshit, who contested the 2017 Assembly polls on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket, his father Satyadeo Dikshit, and Ram Avtar Singh, a former clerk in the mining department.
The official said that it conducted searches at 14 locations including one in New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area and Kanpur, Lucknow, Hamirpur, Jalon, Hamirpur and Noida (in Uttar Pradesh).
The agency carried out searches at two residential premises of Chandrakala in Lucknow and Noida and at the premises of the SP leader and his brother in Kanpur and his close associate Ambika Tiwari in Hamirpur.
Dayal said the case relates to the illegal sand mining between 2012 and 2016, which it had started investigating on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.
He said the agency was investigating the granting and renewal of the licenses for the mining in the state between 2012-16 and also during the ‘obstruction’ period.
The official said that the CBI team recovered a few documents and seized a bank locker and two bank accounts from the IAS officer.
From the residence of Adil Khan, the agency collected the documents related to mining.
He said the agency recovered INR 12.5 lakh and 1.8 kg gold from the residence of Moinuddin in Hamirpur and INR 2 crore and two kg gold from the residence of the retired clerk of the mining department, Ram Avtar Singh, in Jalon.
The official said that it also carried out searches at the residence of SP leader Ramesh Kumar Mihsra’s wife in Lucknow but she has not been named in the FIR.
A senior agency official said that the agency will also probe the role of the Mining ministers in the state in 2012-16.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and another senior Samajwadi Party leader are likely to be summoned by the CBI which conducted searches on Saturday at 14 locations in connection with an illegal sand mining case, officials said.
Among the prominent people whose premises were searched included 2008 batch IAS officer B Chandrakala, who became famous on social media for her alleged anti-corruption crusade. Her videos on social networking sites lashing government officials earned her a title of ‘Lady Dabang’ (daring).
The searches were spread across multiple districts including Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lucknow and also in the national capital, they added. Besides Yadav, the CBI is likely to question Gayatri Prajapati, who was arrested in 2017 following a complaint of rape by a woman residing in Chitrakoot.
It is alleged that the public servants allowed illegal mining during 2012-16 and illegally renewed licences despite a ban by National Green Tribunal on mining. It is alleged that the officers allowed theft of minerals, extort money from lease holders, extort money from drivers.
In 2016, on the directions of the Allahabad High Court to probe the case of illegal mining of minor minerals, the CBI had filed seven preliminary enquiries.
FIR has been registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code against 11 individuals.