Updated: January 19, 2022 6:03:33 am
The Enforcement Directorate Tuesday searched 10 places in election-bound Punjab, including those linked to the nephew of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, over a 2018 sand mining case.
The searches were carried out in Ludhiana, Mohali and Pathankot districts.
ED officials, who were part of the raiding team, said Rs 6 crore was seized during the raid — including Rs 4 crore from Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey.
Honey’s Mohali residence and one of his premises in Ludhiana were among the places searched.
Tuesday’s action was part of an ED investigation into the role of two companies in allegedly laundering proceeds of illegal sand mining. Channi’s nephew is one of the three directors of the companies, sources said.
Best of Express Premium
These firms, Provider Overseas Services and Pinjor Realtors, were set up by one Kudrat Deep Singh, the main accused in the case — which is based on a March 7, 2018 FIR registered by the Punjab police.
The ED had also registered an enforcement case report (ECR) in November 2021 against Kudrat Deep, who owns a quarry in Nawanshahr (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) district.
Channi, meanwhile, said the searches were a “pressure tactic… a repeat of what happened with Mamata Banerjee’s relatives during West Bengal elections”.
The searches were conducted in the presence of Honey, Kudrat Deep and the third director, Sandeep Singh.
Sources said the agency may make some arrests in this case.
The illegal sand mining case was initially registered by the Punjab police at Rahon police station of Nawanshahr on the complaint of the mining officer under sections of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development) Act, 1957, and the Indian Penal Code.
During the probe, six more miners have come under the lens, including Sunil Joshi of Pathankot, Jagsir of Rup Nagar, and Randeep Singh of Amloh. ED has not revealed the names of three others.
There were 26 accused in the case, most of them truck drivers.
According to the FIR, the police had stopped 30 tipper trucks filled with sand, most of which was taken from an area that was not marked for mining. Several types of machinery were also seized, which were not to be used for mining at the site.
Congress leader and media coordinator of Punjab polls, Alka Lamba, tweeted: “CBI, ED & IT raids become a tool of the BJP govt during the elections. 1. IT raid at DMK chief M.K.Stalin’s daughter just 2-days before the elections; 2. CBI raid at Abhishek Banerjee just one month before the elections. 3. ED raid at NCP chief Sharad Pawar just before the elections.”
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.