Probe Agency Raids Congress Leaders In Chhattisgarh In Alleged Coal Scam

Probe Agency Raids Congress Leaders In Chhattisgarh In Alleged Coal Scam



Over a dozen locations are being searched, including properties of Congress MLAs. (File)

New Delhi:

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday conducted searches at multiple locations in Chhattisgarh, including at premises linked to Congress party leaders, as part of an ongoing investigation into the coal levy money laundering case, officials said.

The raids come days before the three-day plenary session of the Congress party from February 24-26 in state capital Raipur. The state is ruled by the party under Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

According to officials, searches are underway since early this morning at over a dozen locations that include those of MLA Devendra Yadav in Bhilai (Durg district), Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee treasurer Ramgopal Agrawal, chairman of Chhattisgarh State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Sushil Sunny Agrawal and party’s state spokesperson RP Singh in Raipur.

The raids also covered some other ruling party leaders.

They said the ED is investigating those who have been the “beneficiaries” of the proceeds of crime of the alleged coal levy scam perpetrated during the tenure of the current government.

Hitting out at the BJP over raids, head of state Congress communication wing Sushil Anand Shukla said, “The BJP is afraid of the Congress’ 85th plenary session scheduled to be held in Raipur and in a bid to disturb it the opposition is misusing the central agency.”

Whenever the BJP fails to take on its political rivals it misuses central agencies like the ED and CBI, he claimed.

As a mark of protest, the Congress will stage a gherao at the ED office in Raipur at 11 am.

The ED investigation relates to “a massive scam in which an illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”, the agency has alleged.

Nine persons, including state administrative service officer Saumya Chaurasia, Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari, Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal have been arrested by it till now in the case.

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