NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said that it carried out searches at 15 locations in three states including the premises of Agrasain Gehlot, in connection with Rs 52.8 crore fraud case. Gehlot is the brother of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Meanwhile, the party has described the development as the “vendetta politics beyond all bounds”.
A CBI spokesperson said that the agency registered a case on June 15 against 15 accused including private companies based in Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The agency also named directors, proprietors, partners of these companies and unknown others in the case.
The official said that those named in the FIR include, Agrasain Gehlot and his Jodhpur-based firm Anupam Krishi; Kolkata-based Saraf Impex Pvt. Ltd and its director Pravin Saraf; Dinesh Chandra Agarwal, proprietor of Shivam Chemicals; Kailashpuri Goswami, proprietor of Kailashpati Chemicals & Minerals Industries; Shantilal Mali, proprietor of Sandeep Suppliers and Ramdev Chemicals Suppliers and Contractors; Sumerpuri Goswami, proprietor of Krishna Agro Agency; Vijay Singh Gohil, partner of Jay Bhawani Roadlines Transport; Brijesh Jayram Nath, proprietor of Swastik Shipping Services; Ashok Babulal Agarwal, partner of Kumar & Brothers, Dholpur; Amritlal Bandi, partner of Laxmi Enterprises and Laxmi Trading Co; Sharadbhai Morarjibhai Kakkad, proprietor of Sharad Agro Centre, Deesa; Nitin Kumar Shah, partner of Kusum Traders, Vadodara; Deendayal Bohra of Ashoka Salt Refinery Industries, Falodi and Sumit Sharma, proprietor of Classic Sales Agency, Kolkata.
The CBI registered a fresh case following a preliminary enquiry. During the preliminary enquiry, the CBI found that Muriate of Potash (MOP), a restricted item, could be exported only with the prior permission of the Central government.
The CBI said that the imported MOP is supplied by Indian Potash Limited (IPL) to farmers through its authorised dealers at subsidised rates and claims the subsidy from the central government.
It said that it was revealed that the MOP was allegedly exported in the guise of Feldspar Powder or Industrial Salt to overseas buyers.
“Further to cover up the transaction, fictitious purchase of the Feldspar Powder or Industrial Salt through dealers in Rajasthan and Kolkata were allegedly shown,” the CBI stated.
It alleged that the accused had hatched a conspiracy during the period 2007 to 2009 with others including unknown officials of the Central Board of Excise and Customs and Indian Potash Limited (IPL) etc and fraudulently helped to purchase and export a total of 24,003 MT of Muriate of Potash in the guise of Industrial Salt or Feldspar Powder, causing loss of subsidy of Rs 52.8 crore to the central government.
The CBI carried out searches at the premises of the accused at around 15 locations in the state of Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.
Agrasain Gehlot is already being probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a fertilizer scam case.
Following the CBI searches at the premises of Agrasain Gehlot, Congress soon hit at the central government saying
Following the news of the CBI searches at the premises linked to Rajasthan Chief Minister’s brother, Congress slammed the government accusing it of indulging in vendetta politics.
Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh in a tweet said, “This is vendetta politics beyond all bounds. Ashok Gehlot was at the forefront of the protests in Delhi over the past three days, and this is the Modi government’s brazen response! We will not be silenced!”
Even, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and party general secretary KC Venugopal also took to Twitter and said, “Ashok Gehlot has been at the forefront of Congress’ peaceful protest against BJP’s misuse of state machinery. It comes as no surprise, that (Narendra) Modi’s government has now sent in CBI to raid his brother Agrasen Gehlot’s residence in Jodhpur. Nobody can do vendetta politics better than BJP.”
The Rajasthan Chief Minister had joined the party’s Satyagrah March towards ED headquarters on June 12 when former party chief Rahul Gandhi went to appear before the financial probe agency in connection with the National Herald case.
Ashok Gehlot was detained by the Delhi Police during the Monday Satyagraha March. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Ashok Gehlot slammed the government over the actions of the Delhi Police when they detained several party leaders and also entered Congress party headquarters forcibly on Wednesday and thrashed several party leaders and workers.