The CBI on Saturday searched 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the residence of a woman IAS officer, a SP 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 some unknown public servants and others, under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency has named woman IAS officer B. Chandrakala, a former Hamirpur District Magistrate, miner Adil Khan, geologist/mining officer Moinuddin, Samajwadi Party (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 Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi, 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 licences for the mining in the state between 2012-16 and also during the “obstruction” period.
It is alleged that the lady IAS officer in her capacity as the DM of Hamirpur in 2012 had allocated 50 sand mining leases overriding the e-tendering process, laid down by the then government.
The official said that the CBI team recovered a few documents and seized a bank locker and two bank accounts of the IAS officer.
From the residence of Adil Khan, the agency collected the documents related to mining. “We found that the mining licence to him was provided on the recommendation of then Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati,” he said.
The official said the agency recovered Rs 12.5 lakh and 1.8 kg gold from the residence of Moinuddin in Hamirpur and Rs 2 crore and two kg gold from the residence of the retired clerk of the Mining Department Ram Avtar Singh in Jalon.
“Ram Avtar Singh was also holding a mining licence in a different name,” the official said.
He 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 during 2012-16. Former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held the Mining Ministry in the state from 2012 to 2013. Gayatri Prajapati succeeded Akhilesh Yadav as the Mining Minister.