Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav could be investigated for his role in the sand mining case, CBI sources said on Saturday. Mr Yadav held the mining department between 2012 and June 2013.
A senior agency official said that all mining ministers in the state in between 2012 and 2016 will be questioned. Former UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, who succeeded Akhilesh Yadav as mining minister, is also likely to be summoned by the CBI.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday conducted searches at 12 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, including Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lucknow and across the national capital, in connection with illegal sand mining case.
The homes of senior officers, including IAS officer B Chandrakala, who is popular on social media for her anti-corruption crusade, were also raided, officers said.
The agency has recovered Rs 12.5 lakh and 1.8 kg gold from the home of mining officer Moinuddin in Hamirpur and Rs 2 crore and two kg gold from the residence of the retired clerk of the mining department, Ram Avtar Singh, in Jalon, reported news agency PTI.
"Ram Avtar Singh held a mining licence on a different name," an official said.
The official said that it also carried out searches at the residence of SP leader Ramesh Kumar Mishra's wife in Lucknow, but she has not been named in the First Information Report or FIR.
The CBI had taken up the case following order of the Allahabad High Court.
The cases of illegal mining were reported from seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, Shamli, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Deoria, Saharanpur, Hamirpur and Siddharthnagar.
It has been alleged that government officials had allocated some illegal mining sites by flouting rules and regulations between the year 2012 and 2016. Mining rights were also given in violation of NGT orders, the agency added.
The agency is investigating how the licenses were given and renewed for mining between 2012 and 2016. The CBI team has recovered a few documents and seized a bank locker and two bank accounts from the IAS officer.
(With inputs from agencies)