ED Raids Premises Linked To Former Uttarakhand Minister Harak Singh Rawat

Dehradun: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out raids on Congress leader and former minister of Uttarakhand Harak Singh Rawat in a money laundering case on Wednesday.

The searches are underway at several locations in Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Chandigarh, including Rawat’s Defence Colony residence and a medical college in Dehradun, as part of the probe, pertaining to his alleged involvement in illegal tree cutting, construction and financial irregularities in Pakhro range of Corbett Park under the Tiger Safari Project, according to reports.

The Forest Survey of India (FSI), in its report, had claimed that more than 6,000 trees were illegally cut in the Corbett Tiger Reserve against the permission of 163 for the Pakhru tiger safari.

Last year, the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court also held Rawat, former Uttarakhand forest minister, and the then divisional forest officer (DFO), Kishan Chand, responsible for these illegal activities. It had also given a go-ahead to the Uttarakhand vigilance department to continue with the legal proceedings against the forest officials involved in the irregularities.

Rawat, who had joined Congress ahead of 2022 Uttarakhand assembly elections after being dismissed from the state cabinet and expelled from the primary membership of BJP for six years for ‘anti-party activities’, had come under scrutiny in August last year when teams of the Uttarakhand Vigilance Department raided a medical college and a petrol pump owned by his son in connection with the alleged irregularities and seized two generators allegedly purchased with government money.

The Uttarakhand High Court had also taken a strict stand in the case and handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) over the allegations in September last year.

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