LUCKNOW: With 2019 inching closer, tough times seem to be ahead for SP chief and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav who has come on CBI radar in a case of illegal mining. The premier investigation agency, besides lodging an FIR against 11 persons including 2008 batch IAS officer B Chandrakala and a few SP and BSP leaders, conducted raids at 14 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi on Saturday in connection with illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur in 2012.
Incidentally, the CBI action has come a day after SP and BSP chiefs met in Delhi firming up their anti-BJP alliance in UP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The agency has been probing the case of illegal mining in five districts --- Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur,
Siddharthnagar, and Deoria –since 2015 on the directives of Allahabad High Court. The court on October 16, 2015, had cancelled all the 60 mining licences granted by the authorities in Hamirpur and had directed the CBI to probe the matter.
The FIR, registered by the CBI on January 2, 2019 claimed: “The role of then mining ministers concerned during the relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation of the case”.
Earlier, the agency had filed two FIRs pertaining to illegal mining in Kaushambi and Shamli districts in June and August 2017 respectively.
According to the CBI sources, the former CM, who held the mining portfolio from 2012 to 2013, may be summoned for questioning in connection with the case. Apart from Akhilesh Yadav, the probe agency may also grill Gayatri Prajapati, who was arrested in 2017 following a complaint of rape by a woman residing in Chitrakoot.
Besides, conducting searches at multiple locations across Kanpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lucknow, Noida and Delhi, CBI raided the residences of 2008 batch IAS officer of UP cadre B Chandrakala, SP MLC
Ramesh Kumar Mishra, his brother Dinesh Mishra in Kanpur, Sanjay Dixit (who fought 2017 state election on a BSP ticket) from Hamirpur and his father and mother Satyadev Dikshit and Maya Dikshit, respectively.
Moreover, others allegedly on CBI radar included Adil Khan, then mining officer Moinuddin, mining clerks Ram Ashray Prajapati, Ambika Tiwari posted in Hamirpur, mining clerk Ram Avatar Singh and his relative Karan Rajput of Jalaun.
B Chandrakala, a native of Karrempur in Telangana and currently on study leave, has come under scanner for allegedly bypassing rules and regulations while granting 60 licences for sand mining during
her tenure as District Magistrate of Hamirpur during Akhilesh Yadav’s rule in 2012.
The raids, however, led to the recovery of The CBI raids led to the recovery of cash over Rs 12.5 lakh, property documents, 1.8 kg gold etc.from different locations.
In fact, for a limited period, there was a ban on mining in the state imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) but the govt officials allowed it even during the ban period, added the CBI sources. So
far, the probe agency has registered seven Preliminary Enquiries (PEs) on the basis of which three FIRs have been registered now.
As part of the conspiracy, the accused persons allowed excavation of minor minerals with a purpose of theft and to extort money from the lease holders as well as from the drives of the vehicles transporting the minor minerals – like stones, gravel, clay and sand which are considered government property according to the Mines and Minerals (development and regulation) act of 1957.