CBI searches at 5 places in West Bengal in unlawful coal mining case

New Delhi, March 16

The CBI on Tuesday carried out searches at five locations in poll-bound West Bengal in connection with the illegal coal mining case involving alleged kingpin Anup Manjhi, officials said.

The searches are being conducted at five locations of Manjhi’s alleged associate Amit Agrawal, a businessman, in Durgapur, Asansol and Bankura, they said.

Eight-phase polling for Assembly elections in West Bengal is scheduled to begin from March 27.

With 294 seats at stake, the BJP is leading a vigorous campaign to oust the ruling TMC which had secured consecutive wins in 2011 and 2016 under its leader Mamata Banerjee.

The CBI has already questioned Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek Banerjee, Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Diamond Harbour constituency and nephew of CM Mamata Banerjee who wields considerable influence in the party and has been leading the Trinamool Congress’ counter-attack.

The agency had also questioned Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law in connection with the case, they said. 

The multi-crore coal pilferage scam is related to the ECL mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas.

The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket, Anup Manjhi alias Lala, ECL general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL security chief Tanmay Das, Kunustoria area security inspector Dhananjay Rai and Kajor area security in-charge Debashish Mukherjee.

Dhar, the then Kunustoria area general manager, is now posted in Pandaveswar, while Rai is general manager for the Kajor area.

It is alleged that Manjhi is involved in illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in the Kunustoria and Kajora areas, the officials said. PTI

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