The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday conducted searches at 22 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR in connection with its probe into an alleged mining scam during the Akhilesh Yadav regime in UP. The agency is probing Yadav’s role and that of his then minister Gayatri Prajapati in connection with the case.
Among the locations searched were three residences owned by Prajapati in Amethi, sources CBI officials familiar with developments.
As many as 11 locations in Hamirpur, two in Delhi and one in Ghaziabad were also raided, they added.
Prajapati held the mining portfolio for a while in the Akhilesh government and is considered an influential Samajwadi Party (SP) leader.
He is currently in jail in connection with a rape case filed by a woman who claimed he exploited her under the pretext of helping her with a mining lease.
He was arrested in 2017. Yadav, who was UP’s CM between 2012 and 2017, also held the mining portfolio during 2012-13.
Searches were also conducted at the residence of a former Samajwadi Party MP Ghanshyam Anuragi in Jalaun. Anuragi was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha from Jalaun.
“It was alleged that public servants, in criminal conspiracy with other accused, allowed illegal mining of Minor Minerals in District Hamirpur (UP) during the period 2012-2016,” CBI spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said.
He said the accused had illegally granted fresh leases for mining sand, renewed existing leases and permitted obstructed periods to existing lease holders causing wrongful loss to the government exchequer and undue gain for themselves.
This is the third FIR in the case registered by the CBI on January 2, 2019, nearly two-and-a-half years after the agency was directed by the Allahabad High Court to investigate the matter.