CBI launches fresh searches in coal theft case allegedly involving ECL officials

The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) on Tuesday started a fresh round of searches at five locations in the Asansol region of West Bengal in connection with the alleged large scale pilferage of coal through illegal mining by Anup Manjhi in connivance with the officials of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) and others, officials said. 

The CBI had, on November 28, launched a massive search operation at 45 locations in four states after registering the case.The agency on Tuesday started searches again at the official and residential premises of the accused officials of ECL in the Asansol region, they said.

The CBI teams also started scanning the documents seized during the November 28 searches when it had recovered Rs 40 lakh cash, documents, electronic devices and instruments of financial transactions, they said.

The agency may send digital evidence for forensic analysis to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), they said.

The CBI registered the case on Friday against Manjhi, ECL General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar (of then Kunustoria area now Pandaveswar area) and Jayesh Chandra Rai (Kajor area) besides ECL Chief of Security Tanmay Das, Area Security Inspector, Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai and SSI and security in-charge Kajor area Debashish Mukherjee.

It is alleged that accused Manjhi alias Lala is involved in the illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, they said.

The CBI had acted on information from “reliable sources” indicating illegal excavation and theft of coal in the leasehold area of ECL in “connivance” with the officials of ECL, CISF and Railways.

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