Jalandhar/Mohali, January 18
In an illegal sand mining case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted raids at several locations in Punjab and Haryana, mainly premises of Bhupinder Singh Honey, a nephew of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, in Mohali and Ludhiana.
ED officials said Rs 5.5 crore was recovered from Honey’s residence in Mohali and its source was being verified. They said raids were held at two locations in Ludhiana, seven in Mohali and one each in Pathankot and Panchkula. While the questioning of Honey was in progress, the officials said the decision to arrest anyone would be taken after recording their statements.
The ED also raided the residence of Randeep Singh, a former vice president of the District Congress Committee at Bugha Kalan in Amloh.
He is an aide of a former Congress minister. Reacting to the developments, the Congress claimed the BJP was misusing power to browbeat its opponents like it tried in West Bengal. Channi said the raids were part of a political vendetta. “We will not budge under any pressure,” he said.
Congress media coordinator for Punjab elections Alka Lamba tweeted the CBI, ED and I-T raids were “used as a tool” by the BJP government during state elections.
The raids were conducted as part of investigations of an illegal mining case lodged on March 7, 2018, at Rahon police station in Nawanshahr, sources said. The ED took up the investigation related to provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The FIR was lodged against Honey’s partner Kudratdeep Singh of Ludhiana and 25 others. The case was registered after then CM Capt Amarinder Singh spotted illegal mining activities in Nawanshahr while flying in his chopper to Kartarpur on March 6, 2018.
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