Illegal mining case: Trouble mounts for Akhilesh Yadav as CBI raids Bulandshahr DM's home
In a development which can mount trouble for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was conducting raids at the residence of Bulandshahr District Magistrate (DM) Abhay Kumar Singh on Wednesday.
India Today learnt that the raids were being conducted in connection with illegal mining case. Abhay Kumar Singh is under the CBI's scanner for alleged irregularities while he was the DM of Fatehpur.
The role of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav in the case is also under the central agency's scanner.
Akhilesh Yadav was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017 and the mining minister of the state from 2012 to 2013. The illegal mining allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016.
Sources in the CBI told India Today TV that a total of 22 tenders were passed by the UP government between 2012 and 2016 and are being scrutinised. Of these, 14 were passed during Akhilesh Yadav's tenure, between 2012 and 2013.
According to the sources, of the 22 lease violations, 14 occurred when Akhilesh Yadav was the mining minister and others during Gayatri Prajapati's term.
The agency believes that both Akhilesh and Prajapati had given the approval when they were mining ministers.
All the leases had the approval of the chief minister. All the leases of Rs 5 lakh and above had to get due approval from the CM's office, according to the rules.
This year in June, the CBI also carried out searches at the residence of Gayatri Prajapati, former minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government in Amethi.
The CBI had then conducted searches at 22 locations across the country, including at three premises of former minister Gayatri Prajapati in Amethi.
Earlier this year in January, the CBI had conducted raids at several locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in connection with the case.
The homes of senior officers, including IAS officer B Chandrakala in Hamirpur, who served as the district magistrate (DM) of Bijnor, Bulandshahr and Meerut, were searched by the CBI.
SP MLC Ramesh Mishra and his brother, mining clerk Ram Ashray Prajapati, Ambika Tiwari from Hamirpur, mining clerk Ram Avatar Singh and his relative and Sanjay Dikshit are among the accused in the case.
According to the probe agency, these officials allegedly allowed illegal mining during the period of 2012-2016.
"The named accused and certain other persons illegally granted and renewed fresh leases and permitted obstructed period. These persons were allowed to extort money from leaseholders and also extract money from drivers carrying minerals," the agency said.
After the Allahabad High Court had directed the CBI to conduct inquiries over allegations of illegal sand mining in five districts of Uttar Pradesh including Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddharth Nagar and Deoria, am FIR was registered by the agency.