ED completes raids on Channi’s nephew, Punjab CM launches attack | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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ED completes raids on Channi’s nephew, Punjab CM launches attack

ByHT Correspondents, Jalandhar/chandigarh
Jan 20, 2022 05:33 AM IST

Channi, who is hoping to return to power after assembly elections next month, alleged that the raids, which began on Tuesday, were an attempt to frame him.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that it seized 10 crore in cash from the premises of Bhupinder Singh, the nephew of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, and his business partner after raids in connection with illegal sand mining in the state.

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi addresses a press conference on the ED raids on his nephew Bhupinder Singh, in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (ANI)
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi addresses a press conference on the ED raids on his nephew Bhupinder Singh, in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (ANI)

Channi, who is hoping to return to power after assembly elections next month, alleged that the raids, which began on Tuesday, were an attempt to frame him.

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ED officials said they seized a total of 10 crore from Bhupinder Singh and his partner, Sandeep Kumar, in addition to gold worth 21 lakh and a Rolex watch worth 12 lakh.

The raids began on Tuesday when the ED searched 10 locations, including those linked to the CM’s nephew, in Chandigarh, Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Pathankot and Mohali.

The agency’s probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is based on a 2018 case registered by Punjab Police on illegal sand mining in the border state. The central agency lodged an ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) at its zonal office in Jalandhar in November last year after taking over the probe.

Channi condemned the raids and called it an attempt to put pressure on him ahead of elections. Punjab goes to the polls on February 20.

He said Bhupinder Singh was tortured by the agency as part of a conspiracy to target the Congress. “I have learnt that those who had come to interrogate talked about the PM’s visit, saying they will not let us file our nomination papers or contest the elections,” he added, referring to the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab earlier this month.

Calling the ED raids a “planted exercise”, Channi said his nephew was not even named in the 2018 FIR. “This is a conspiracy to trap me in this case. They are taking revenge because I stood with Punjab and people of Punjab during the Prime Minister’s visit to Ferozepur,” he said.

ED officials said that Bhupinder Singh was a director in a firm set up by the main accused in the case, Kudrat Deep Singh. The ED is probing money-laundering charges against them as it suspects the proceeds from illegal sand mining was laundered through the company.

The FIR names 26 accused, including Kudrat Deep Singh.

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 used for illegal mining. The FIR said the mining was done outside the designated area and the operators used forged slips not issued by the mining department.

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