Lucknow, June 12 : The CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at over 21 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the residence of former state Minister Gayatri Prajapati in connection with a case of illegal sand mining between 2012 and 2016, officials said.
The CBI started investigating the case on the directions of the Allahabad High Court in January this year.
A senior Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official told IANS: "Several CBI teams started the searches at over 21 places in Uttar Pradesh this morning. The CBI team also raided three residential premises of former Uttar Pradesh Minister Prajapati in Amethi."
The official said that searches at the residence of Prajapati was carried out after the CBI collected the documents related to mining from the residence of Adil Khan which indicated that the licence was provided on the recommendation of then state Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati.
The official said that besides Delhi and Amethi, the searches were carried out in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Hamirpur and adjoining areas in Uttar Pradesh.
He also said that during the searches, incriminating documents have been recovered relating to the investigation of the case.
The agency had, on January 2, registered a case against 11 people under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency has named former Hamirpur District Magistrate B. Chandrakala, miner Adil Khan, geologist/mining officer Moinuddin, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ramesh Kumar Mishra and his brother Dinesh Kumar Mishra among the accused.
Also named are former Mining Department clerks Ram Ashray Prajapati and Ram Avtar Singh, as well as Sanjay Dikshit, who contested the 2017 Assembly polls on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket, and his father Satyadeo Dikshit.
On January 5, the CBI carried out searches at 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the residences of Chandrakala as well as of an SP and a BSP leader in connection with the case.
Former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held the mining portfolio in the state from 2012 to 2013. Prajapati succeded Yadav as the Mining Minister.
The agency has earlier recovered Rs 12.5 lakh and 1.8 kg gold from the residence of Moinuddin in Hamirpur, and Rs 2 crore as well as two kg gold from the residence of the retired clerk of the Mining Department Ram Avtar Singh in Jalon.