CBI summons Akhilesh Yadav in illegal mining case

| Updated: 29 February, 2024 2:37 pm IST
CBI has summoned former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav as a witness in an alleged illegal mining case in Hamirpur district. However, sources said that Yadav may not join the probe and is currently in Lucknow.

The CBI had asked Yadav to appear before it on February 29 at its headquarters in Delhi. A CBI official, who spoke to The New Indian on the condition of anonymity, said that Yadav has not responded to the summons yet. “We have asked him to join the probe on February 29. He hasn’t replied as of now. He will have to come to the Delhi-based headquarters,” the official said.

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The official added that a team of senior CBI officers will record Yadav’s statement in connection with the case, which pertains to the issuance of mining leases in violation of the e-tendering process. The official said that Yadav, who also held the mining portfolio during his tenure as the CM, had cleared 13 mining projects in a single day on February 17, 2013, which was against the rules. “He is a witness in the case and we want to record his statement. He also held the minister of mining portfolio at that time, which is one of the reasons we want to question him,” the official said.

The CBI registered the case in 2019, following the directions of the Allahabad High Court, which had ordered a probe into the illegal mining of minor minerals in UP between 2012 and 2016. The CBI had filed seven preliminary inquiries and later converted them into FIRs.

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The agency had alleged that the public servants involved in the scam had allowed the illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district and had also illegally renewed the mining leases despite a ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on mining activities. “They also extorted money from the drivers and the leaseholders. It was a kind of bribe,” the official said.

The CBI had also conducted raids at several locations in UP and Delhi in connection with the case and had recovered documents and electronic evidence. The agency had also questioned several former bureaucrats and politicians, including former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati and former Hamirpur DM B Chandrakala, who are accused in the case.

Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in UP, has termed the CBI summons as a political vendetta by the BJP-led central government. He has accused the BJP of trying to malign his image and hamper his party’s prospects in the upcoming assembly elections in UP. He has also claimed that he has no role in the illegal mining case and that he is ready to face any probe.


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