ED registers another case in UP mining scam
Another FIR in the multi crore mining scam in UP was lodged against former mining minister Gayatri Prajapati and five IAS officials under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by Enforcement Dirctorate(ED) at its Lucknow regional office, said senior ED officials on Sunday.
The FIRs were lodged on basis of the one lodged by CBI, which is investigating the mining scam in UP during the Samajwadi Party regime between 2012 and 2016.
A senior official, however, refused to reveal the identities of five IAS officials. He said the IAS officers were those who were posted in different districts where illegal mining took place and at the mining directorate in Lucknow.
Senior ED officials said that teams had been tasked to conduct investigations into the matter. They said this was the second FIR in the scam. Earlier on January 17 this year, the ED had registered a case also under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
This happened after the CBI’s Delhi unit on January 2, 2019 registered a case concerning alleged illegal mining of minor minerals, including sand mining in Hamirpur district, during the period 2012-2016.
The CBI had registered an FIR against eleven people, including 2008 batch IAS officer B Chandrakala and Samajwadi Party (SP) MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra, in the alleged scam. The FIR also mentioned that the role of the then mining minister needed to be probed.
Prajapati was arrested and has been under judicial custody in Lucknow district jail in connection with a gang rape case since March 2017.
The matter of illegal mining first came to light after the Allahabad High Court hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on July 28, 2016, directed the CBI to investigate the anomalies.
CBI in its investigation short-listed seven districts — Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddharthnagar, Deoria, Kaushambi and Saharanpur — and began probe on the approvals in September 2012. As of now, five FIRs has registered by CBI in Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Kaushambhi, and Deoria between June 2017 and July 2019. A total of 44 persons, including six IAS officers, a former minister and others have been booked in these cases so far.