PATNA: The Income Tax department on Wednesday raided three premises of Bihar RJD legislator Syed Abu Dozana, who is a close aide of jailed party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and has been building the state’s largest mall in Patna.
Searches were conducted by Income Tax department officials simultaneously at Dojana’s residence at Phulwarisharif on the outskirts of Patna and two other locations – SP Verma Road and Dak Bunglow Square – in Patna. Sources said Dojana, who is the RJD legislator from Sursand in Sitamarhi district, was grilled by the IT officials for about three hours.
“Several documents related to ownership of landed property and financial transactions were seized from his premises. These searches are related to the MLA’s partnership in the construction of the mall,” said an Income Tax official familiar with the exercise.
Dojana, who has been close to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family for nearly a decade, is the owner of Meridian Construction India Limited, which had started building a Rs 500-crore mall in Patna’s Saguna Mor area last year. Construction of the mall, which was billed as the largest mall in Bihar, was stopped after Enforcement Directorate attached the plot last year.
The three-acre plot of land on which the mall was being constructed is owned by Lara Projects LLP, whose managing partner is Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi while their sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav are the partners of the firm. This plot of land is at the centre of the railway hotel scam that is being probed by both CBI and ED.
According to the FIR lodged by CBI, ownership of this plot of land was transferred to the company of Lalu’s family members by Patna-based hoteliers Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar in exchange of the handing over of two IRCTC hotels to their firm for maintenance when Lalu was railway minister in UPA-I government.