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CBI conducts raids in 100 places across 19 states

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Probing alleged irregularities in the sale of 21 state-owned sugar mills in 2010-2011 when Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted searches at the residences of her close aide and former secretary Net Ram and Vinaypriya Dubey, the then managing director of UP State Sugar Corporation Ltd, in Lucknow.

CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said the searches were a part of countrywide raids by more than 500 personnel at over 100 locations in 19 states and union territories in which the CBI registered around 30 separate cases related to alleged corruption, criminal misconduct and arms smuggling.

Fourteen locations in Delhi and UP were raided in connection with alleged irregularities in the sale of 10 running and 11 closed sugar mills between 2010 and 2011. During the searches, the CBI recovered incriminating documents and Rs, 11 lakh cash, officials said .

In April this year, the CBI registered a first information report and six preliminary enquiries (PEs) to probe the alleged irregularities that had led to a loss of Rs 1,179 crore to the state exchequer, according to a 2013 report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) that formed the basis of the case.

BSP national general secretary Ramachal Rajbhar had then described the investigation as a misuse of federal agencies by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre to harass and pressurise leaders of opposition parties.

“The searches were conducted at locations of seven people named in the FIR that included the house of Mohammad Wajid Ali and Javed in Saharanpur, house of Saurav Mukand, a businessman from Saharanpur, and office and residence of a Delhi-based chartered accountant, SK Gupta,” Gaur said. Ali and Javed were identified as the sons of former member of the UP legislative council Iqbal Singh. The CBI also conducted raids at Krrish Buildtech Private Ltd in Jasola, Delhi and recovered 14 incriminating documents related to land deals, probing irregularities in a land allocation case in which it had registered an FIR in January this year against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and TC Gupta, a 1987 batch Indian Administrative Service officer who chief administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority.

The agency also raided 11 places in Delhi in connection with alleged misuse of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds amounting to ₹90.72 crore received by a non-government organization – Advantage India, from leading defence and aviation firms. The CBI registered an FIR in the case in November 2017. Following the raids, the CBI also claimed to have uncovered a racket in allegedly issuing gun licenses on fake identities in Jammu. Searches were conducted on Tuesday at private gun houses in Udhampur and Srinagar and at 11 more locations in Jammu.

“Incriminating documents related to money transactions between the private gun dealers and those who had applied for arms license, license application forms, blank NOC (no-objection certificate) purportedly issued by the DM {district magistrate} and an arms license issue register of the office of DM have been recovered. No raids in this connection were conducted at DM office. We have made no arrest so far,” Gaur said.

The CBI had started investigations in 2018 after the special branch, Chandigarh, registered two cases of irregularities in issuing gun licenses.

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