The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will investigate former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in connection with a case of illegal sand mining, officials said on Saturday. Yadav was holding additional charge of the mining department between 2012 and June 2013, news agency PTI reported. Akhilesh was the chief minister of the state from 2012 to 2017.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at 12 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in connection with an illegal sand mining case, officials said.

According to news agency ANI, the raids were conducted at multiple locations in Lucknow, Kanpur, Hamirpur, and Jalaun in connection with the illegal sand mining in Uttar Pradesh. Raids were also carried out in the national capital.

Lucknow based IAS officer B. Chandrakala, famous for her anti-corruption crusade on social media, was among the senior officers who were raided.

According to media reports, an 11-member team of the CBI raided Chandrakala’s residence in Lucknow and seized several important documents in connection with the case.

Chandrakala came under the scanner for allegedly bypassing rules and regulations for granting licenses for sand mining during her tenure as District Magistrate of Hamirpur in 2012.

The agency also conducted raids at the residences of BSP leader Satyadev Dikshit and SP MLC Ramesh Mishra in Hamirpur in connection with the illegal sand mining case.

The CBI is believed to be currently investigating the charges of illegal mining in five districts of Uttar Pradesh – Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddharthnagar, and Deoria.

The central probe agency has taken up the matter on the directions of Allahabad High Court in July 2017.

As per reports, the high court had directed the CBI to probe the matter after a plea was filed alleging that illegal sand mining was taking place in the state with an active role of government officials.

With illegal sand mining turning out to be a perennial problem in India, several cases have been coming into light in 2018. Earlier last year, newly elected Congress government in Punjab found itself in the middle of a multi-crore rupee sand mining scam. Punjab’s power and irrigation minister, Rana Gurjit Singh was also alleged to have granted mining leases to his acquaintances, including his former cook, Amit Bahadur.

In order to curb illegal mining, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) with the help of Space Technology initiated Project “Sudoor Drishti” with NRSC at Hyderabad and Development of Mining Surveillance System with the help of BISAG, Gujarat under Digital India Programme of DEITY. 

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