The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday carried out searches at 110 locations in 19 states in connection with cases related to corruption, arms smuggling and criminal misconduct, officials said, in a massive crackdown with links to opposition leaders Mayawati and Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress.
The raids were in connection with the 30 separate cases registered by the agency, sources said. Details of cases are being kept under wraps till the operation gets over, they added.
"Around 550 CBI officials involved in this operation. More such "special drives" expected in the coming days," said a senior official of CBI to NDTV.
Among the cases were the alleged sugar mills disinvestment scam case during Mayawati's tenure as Uttar Pradesh chief minister and a case against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda about a 2009 land deal, sources said.
The agency carried out searches at 11 locations in Lucknow and the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) in connection with the sugar mills case, the officials said. The CBI had filed the case in April 2019 besides six preliminary enquiries in which the probe is underway, they said.
The cases in which search searches were carried out also include that of a Mumbai-based businessman who was sold 980 acres of land worth Rs 11 crore in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh on the basis of forged documents, a missing woman from Rajasthan's Jaipur and 13 housing loans worth Rs 3 crore given out by a State Bank of India branch manager in Haridwar.
Raids in Jammu and Kashmir included those about irregularities in arms licenses issued between 2012 and 2016.
The searches were spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, Srinagar, Pune, Jaipur, Goa, Raipur, Hyderabad, Madurai, Kolkata, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bokaro, Lucknow, Kanpur and other locations in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar.
This is second massive search operation by the agency in a week. A similar operation was carried out last Tuesday against banking fraud accused.