Kejriwal attacks Channi over illegal sand mining following ED raids

Kejriwal


DW BUREAU / chandigarh Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday attacked his Punjab counterpart Charanjit Singh Channi over illegal sand mining following ED raids at several places, including the premises of a person said to be a relative of the chief minister. "It is sad that a relative of chief minister is being raided for (illegal) sand mining," said Kejriwal after landing at the airport here. He said AAP leader Raghav Chadha had even shown how illegal sand mining was taking place in Channi's own assembly constituency -- Chamkaur Sahib. "Despite uncovering it, the chief minister did not take action and even tried to justify it. It is clear that he (CM) and his family are involved in illegal sand mining. What can be expected for Punjab's future from a person whose family is involved in illegal mining," he said. "We have been repeatedly saying that in his (Channi) cabinet, there are people who are involved in illegal sand mining and Channi sahab himself is giving patronage to them," alleged Kejriwal. "Why Channi sahab did not throw them out from the cabinet? Why he kept them in the cabinet," he asked. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday raided multiple locations in poll-bound Punjab as part of a money laundering probe against the 'sand mafia' and companies linked to alleged illegal sand mining in the border state, officials said. They said at least 10-12 locations in the state, including in Chandigarh and Mohali, are being covered by the officials of the central agency and the action is being undertaken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Premises linked to a person identified as Bhupinder Singh alias Honey are also being covered. He is stated to be a relative of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Opposition parties have earlier linked Channi with the dealings of Singh which the former had denied. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday raided multiple locations in poll-bound Punjab, including those linked to a relative of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, as part of a money laundering probe against the 'sand mafia' and companies linked to alleged illegal sand mining in the border state, officials said. They said at least a dozen locations in the state including in Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana and Pathankot are being covered by the officials of the federal agency. They are being assisted by armed personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).The action is being undertaken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Reacting to the raids, Channi told reporters that relatives of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were raided during the assembly polls in that state and the "same pattern" is being followed by the ED in Punjab to "pressure" him, his ministers and Congress party members. "We are ready to handle the pressure...," he said, adding he had no links with the case. Premises linked to a person identified as Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, a nephew of Channi, are also being covered. Sources said Honey's links with a person identified as Kudratdeep Singh are being investigated by the agency.Opposition parties have earlier linked Channi with the dealings of Honey which the former had denied. The ED action, sources said, has been initiated after taking cognisance of a 2018 FIR of the Nawanshahr. (editor@dailyworld.in)




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