NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday conducted raids at the residence of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and several of his associates in Rohtak in connection with an alleged case of land grab in Gurugram. Besides Hooda's residence, premises of the then Principal Secretary M L Tayal, UPSC member Chattar Singh, both former IAS officers, and a serving IAS SS Dhillon were also searched by the team, CBI sources said.
The raid comes just days after the Justice Dhingra Committee, set up to probe the irregularities, submitted its report on the land grab case to current Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Alleged irregularities in acquisition of land had led to farmers being cheated to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore.
The raids were conducted at around 24 places, including Rohtak, Gurugram, Delhi, Chandigarh and Panchkula at the residential and office premises of various persons in an on-going investigation of a case relating to alleged irregularities in the purchase of land from farmers and land owners of District Gurgaon in Haryana, the investigating said in a statement.
The CBI said it was scrutinising the incriminating documents and materials recovered during searches. Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, is one of the chief accused in the case and Saturday's raid raises the question if he could be next on the CBI list.
The Dhingra commission had been set up to investigate allegations that laws were flouted at the time of granting land licences to certain firms. The licences were granted by the then Congress government led by Hooda for the development of commercial complexes, housing colonies and other colonies in at least four villages in Gurgaon. These villages included Khekri Daula, Sikanderpur Bada, Sihi and Shikohpur.
If Vadra or his associates are raided next, it could be a huge blow for the Congress, which is already reeling under continuous electoral losses in various states.
The CBI had registered a case last year against unknown public servants of Haryana Government and unknown private persons.
In an FIR filed in 2015, it was alleged that the private builders in conspiracy with certain public servants of Haryana Government including important functionaries and others had purchased around 400 acres of land from the farmers and land owners of village Manesar, Naurangpur, Lakhnoula, District Gurgaon at throwaway prices, under the threat and false apprehension of acquisition by the Government, during the period August 2004 to August 2007.