Former UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati had held the mining portfolio during the Samajwadi Party government under Akhilesh Yadav, they said.
The CBI is conducting a search operation at 22 locations including three residential premises of former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati in connection with an illegal mining case, officials said Wednesday. His three houses in Amethi were part of this search operation which is spread over 11 locations in Hamirpur district in the state and several other places in Delhi and NCR, they said.
Prajapati held the mining portfolio in the Akhilesh Yadav government and he is considered an influential Samajwadi Party leader. He is currently in jail in a rape case. A woman from Chitrakoot had alleged that the minister exploited her on the promise of allotting her a mining lease, but he denied the charge. The officials said rules and procedures were violated by politicians and officials in the allotment of mining leases of minor minerals in Hamirpur district during 2012-16. Minor minerals are sand, gravel etc. They said social media sensation IAS officer B Chandrakala is also named as accused in the case registered by the CBI.
Her videos lashing out at government officials had earned her a title of ‘Lady Dabang’. A UP cadre IAS officer of the 2008-batch, Chandrakala was the district magistrate of Hamirpur during 2012-14 when she allegedly violated an e-tender system of allotting mining contracts in her district, the FIR said.
Yadav, who was the chief minister of the state between 2012 and 2017 and held the mining portfolio during 2012-13, is also under scanner, according to the FIR. He was succeeded by Prajapati, who took charge as the mining minister in 2013. He was arrested in 2017. This is a third FIR pertaining to illegal mining cases registered by the CBI on January 2, 2019, nearly two-and-a-half year after the agency was directed by the Allahabad High Court to probe the issue. It had carried out first searches after the FIR was filed.
On July 28, 2016, the CBI was directed by the high court to probe illegal mining in the state following which it had registered seven preliminary enquiries out of which two pertaining to Shamli and Kaushambi districts were converted into FIRs in 2017.