ED conducts raids on Uttarakhand Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

ED conducts raids on Uttarakhand Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat

Feb 07, 2024 09:36 AM IST

Initial reports claimed that more than 10 locations in Uttarakhand and Delhi-NCR were being raided by the ED.

The Enforcement Directorate conducted raids against Uttarakhand Congress leader and former minister Harak Singh Rawat in a money laundering case, news agency PTI reported citing Officials.

Harak Singh Rawat.(HT Photo)
Harak Singh Rawat.(HT Photo)

Initial reports claimed that more than 10 locations in Uttarakhand and Delhi-NCR were being raided by the ED.

PTI reported that the searches were carried out at multiple premises in Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh. The ED investigation is linked to two different cases and allegations against Harak Singh Rawat and his associates including "illegal" felling of trees and construction in the state's Corbett Tiger Reserve and "fraudulent" acquisition of land in Dehradun district for an educational institute run by a trust linked to the politician and his family.

Premises of Doon Institute of Medical Sciences and individuals identified as Virender Kandari and Narender K Walia were also covered, PTI reported.

Harak Singh Rawat joined the Congress ahead of the 2022 Uttarakhand assembly election after being dismissed from the state cabinet and the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party for six years due to "anti-party activities". The BJP won the Uttarakhand election for a second consecutive term.

Last year, the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court held Harak Singh Rawat, former Uttarakhand forest minister, and the then divisional forest officer (DFO) Kishan Chand responsible for various illegal activities, including constructions in connection with a tiger safari in 2021, in the Pakhro and Morghatti forest areas of the Kalagarh Forest Division of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

In its report submitted to the apex court on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, the committee held Harak Singh Rawat and Chand guilty for construction activities in connection with the tiger safari and other illegal projects in the Pakhro and Morghatti forest areas.

It had also given its green signal to the Uttarakhand vigilance department to continue with the legal proceedings against the forest officials involved in the irregularities.

Allegations against Harak Singh Rawat

The said land was allegedly acquired in a “fraudulent” manner by Rawat's wife Deepti Rawat and some others and the building for Doon Institute of Medical Sciences was constructed on it by Shrimati Poorna Devi Memorial Trust.

The Uttarakhand government's vigilance department had also raided Harak Singh Rawat last year in connection with the alleged tiger reserve "irregularities" during his tenure as the state forest minister in the previous BJP government.

Apart from the Congress and the BJP, Harak Singh Rawat has also been part of the Bahujan Samaj Party in the past.

Harak Singh Rawat started his political career with the BJP in the undivided Uttar Pradesh, joined the BSP in 1996 and moved to the Congress after two years.

After a long stint of 18 years with the Congress, Harak Singh Rawat rebelled against the previous Harish Rawat government to join the BJP in 2016. He was expelled from the BJP in 2022 as he allegedly insisted on party tickets for himself and his daughter-in-law for the assembly elections.

(With inputs from PTI)

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