New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting a search operation at 22 locations including three residential premises of former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati in connection with an illegal mining case, officials said Wednesday.
The search operation, which included Prajapati’s three houses in Amethi, is spread over 11 locations in the Hamirpur district and several other places in Delhi and NCR, they said.
The influential Samajwadi Party leader has been in jail for a rape case since March 2017. Prajapati has also been accused of illegal mining when he was the 2013 Minister of Mining in his state.
A woman from Chitrakoot alleged that the minister exploited her on the promise of allotting her a mining lease, but he denied this charge.
However, officials said that politicians and officials often violated rules and procedures in the allotment of mining leases of minor minerals like sand, gravel etc. in Hamirpur district during 2012-16.
They added that social media sensation IAS officer B Chandrakala, also known as ‘Lady Dabang’ for her videos of her lashing out at government officials, is also accused in the case registered by the CBI.
She was the district magistrate of Hamirpur during 2012-14 when she allegedly violated an e-tender system of allotting mining contracts in her district, the FIR said.
Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017 and held the mining portfolio during 2012-13, is also under the scanner, according to the FIR.
This is a third FIR pertaining to illegal mining cases registered by the CBI on January 2, 2019, nearly two-and-a-half year after the agency was directed by the Allahabad High Court to probe the issue. It had carried out first searches after the FIR was filed.
On July 28, 2016, the CBI was directed by the high court to probe illegal mining in the state following which it had registered seven preliminary enquiries out of which two pertaining to Shamli and Kaushambi districts were converted into FIRs in 2017.