Coal Mining Scam: CBI Carries Out Raids In Four States

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New Delhi: In a mass-scale operation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at 45 locations in four states — West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar — in connection with illegal mining and theft of coal from Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), officials said.

The search operation followed an FIR in the alleged irregularities on Friday against two senior officials of ECL, unknown officials of railways and others, Hindustan Times reported.

It is alleged that mass scale theft of coal was taking place at the ECL lines in connivance with the officials and security in-charge, officials said.

It is in West Bengal that the alleged kingpin of the illegal operation, Anup Majhi, is based, sources said. The home and offices of the suspect, who lives in Asansol, are being searched along with those of his associates, NDTV reported.

In West Bengal, besides Asansol and other spots, searches are on in Durgapur, Raniganj in Burdwan district, and Bishnupur in the South 24 Parganas district.

Majhi, also known as Lala, allegedly runs an operation in open cast coal mines along the Bengal-Jharkhand border.

The income tax department was investigating him and had served notices on him earlier this month, around the same time when Union Home Minister Amit Shah was on a two-day visit to Kolkata.

The raids also come just months ahead of the Assembly polls in West Bengal next year.

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