Illegal sand mining: ED raids Punjab CM’s nephew among six contractors - Hindustan Times
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Illegal sand mining: ED raids Punjab CM’s nephew among six contractors

Jan 18, 2022 02:00 PM IST

Enforcement Directorate probing money laundering charges as it suspects proceeds from illegal sand mining in 2018 further transferred

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted raids on 10 locations in Punjab, including the premises of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh in Mohali besides Ludhiana and Pathankot districts, in an illegal sand mining case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the apartment of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh in the Homeland Heights complex (above) in Mohali on Tuesday morning. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the apartment of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh in the Homeland Heights complex (above) in Mohali on Tuesday morning. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

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The ED has been probing the case under the Prevention to Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the state mining department lodged a complaint at Rahon police station in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in 2018.

ED officials said that Kudrat Deep Singh, one of the main accused, had formed new companies with two directors, Sandeep Singh and Bhupinder Singh. The ED has been probing money-laundering charges against six contractors as it suspects the proceeds from the illegal sand mining has been further transferred. Besides Kudrat Deep Singh, the ED probe has found the involvement of the other contractors.

The ED team, comprising six officials and four policemen, raided the posh Homeland Heights apartment of Channi’s nephew in Mohali early on Tuesday.

According to the FIR, there are 26 accused of whom most are truck drivers. The case was registered on the complaint of the Punjab mining department that found sand quarries being run without approval during its raids in 2018. The mining department impounded 30 vehicles and other machinery being used for the illegal mining.

In 2018, the case was registered under Sections 21(1) and 4(1) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957,and Sections 420 (punishment for cheating), 471 (whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine), and 465 (punishment for forgery) at Rahon.

Pressure tactics in run-up to elections: Channi

Reacting to the ED raid at his nephew Bhupinder Singh’s house, Channi said: “The same thing happened during the West Bengal elections. It is to put pressure on me in view of the upcoming assembly polls.”

“They are targeting me. This is not good for democracy. We are ready to fight this. The same thing happened during the WB elections,” Channi said, adding that “the entire issue is to settle scores with us for what happened a few days ago in Punjab”. He was referring to the faceoff between Punjab and the Centre over the breach of security during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s January 5 visit to Ferozepur.

Raids a poll gimmick, says Congress leader Alka Lamba

Soon after the raids, Congress leader Alka Lamba, who is the party’s media coordinator for the Punjab elections, tweeted, “CBI, ED & IT raids have become a tool of the BJP govt during the elections.”

Terming the raids a poll gimmick, she claimed that the BJP and the B-teams of the BJP were stunned with increasing popularity of Punjab chief minister Channi due to his works. “The people of Punjab will themselves respond to this in the coming days,” Lamba added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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