ED Continues Raids for Second Day; Searches Raipur Mayor

RAIPUR: In its second consecutive day of raids in connection to alleged money laundering in the coal levy scam, the ED knocked the doors of Raipur mayor Aijaz Dhebar on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, paramilitary forces were also seen at the premises of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Anil Tuteja, but no official statement was issued by state police or central agency. Sources also hint searches are underway in premises linked to Amlok Singh Bhayia, Anwar Dhebar, Baldev Singh Bhatia, Pappu Bansal and Vinod Bihari.

Officials in the know have said that a dozen premises related to Chhattisgarh Congress treasurer Ramgopal Agrawal and arrested coal businessman Sunil Agarwal, IPS officer and commissioner of Transport and Public Relations Dipanshu Kabra, besides a few others in Raipur, Bhilai, Durg and Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh and in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh were searched on Tuesday. The residence of industrialist Kamal Sarda at Shankar Nagar was also searched.

Meanwhile, Baghel on Tuesday attacked the Centre for the numerous ED raids launched.

He alleged that the agency is only targeting non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states and it appears that ED does not have offices in the BJP-ruled states.

The investigation relates to “a massive scam in which illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”, the agency has alleged. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s deputy secretary Saumya Chaurasia, Vishnoi, coal trader and alleged “main kingpin of the scam” Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal have been arrested in this case so far.

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