ED Asks Chhattisgarh EOW to File FIR Against IAS Officer and Other Govt Staff

RAIPUR: After a two-day-long interrogation, the ED has written to the heads of the Chhattisgarh Police and Economic Offence Wing (EOW) for action against Saumya Chauraisa, a former deputy secretary in chief minister Bupesh Baghel’s office, and another bureaucrat Sameer Vishnoi under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the alleged scam related to illegal levies on coal.

The federal agency alleged that a cartel of bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians, and middlemen imposed illegal levies of ₹25 per tonne on coal transported in the state. The cartel allegedly ran a“parallel system of extorting illegal levy and generated about ₹2-3 crore daily”.

Around 26 locations were raided and 18 people were questioned in the fresh searches launched in Raipur. 11 out of the 18 were taken to the ED office for questioning.

In separate letters dated March 23, ED cited the alleged scam and added Chhattisgarh may take cognisance and initiate an investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Vishnoi and other government officials allegedly involved in it, citing the incriminating materials it has provided.

The ED has given details of findings of its probe based on analysis of seized documents, digital evidences and statements recorded under PMLA.

Locations in connection to businessman Amolak Singh Bhatia, Papu Bhatia, Anwer Dhebar- brother of Raipur Mayor Aijza Dhebar, Vinod Bihari, Suarabh Kedia and Manjeet Chawla were searched and documents that would aid in further investigation were collected. Apart from these, industrialist Kamala Sarda, Suresh Bande, Pramod Jain, KD Kunjam, Congress treasurer’s son and Mineral Dept officer Shukla were also searched on the first day in the second leg of the raids launched this week.

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