Millennium Post

CBI raids home of ex-BJP Min who attended rally supporting Kathua gang-rape accused

New Delhi: Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday raided the residential premises of former Jammu and Kashmir Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh in a case of criminal breach of trust along with the premises of erstwhile district officials, who the CBI claimed had conspired with an educational trust run by Singh's wife to extend undue benefits in terms of land allotment.

Significantly, Singh was a former member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and had quit the party in 2019 after he had attended a "Hindu Ekta Manch" rally held in support of the accused who had been arrested in the gang rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua.

Officials here said that the CBI has registered a case against RB Educational Trust, through its Chairperson Kanta Andotra (Singh's wife), the erstwhile District Commissioner of Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal, Tehsildar, Naib Tehsildar, Girdawar and Patwari along with unknown others based on allegations that these public officials had facilitated the trust in possessing land much beyond the ceiling limit and had submitted a "false affidavit in support of the trust, causing loss to the state exchequer".

The CBI added that raids were conducted in nine locations in Jammu and Kathua in relation to the case, including at the premises of RB Educational Trust, the residence of Andotra and other accused in the case.

According to the FIR, the probe agency had received information on irregularities in the land allotted to the Trust and registered a Preliminary Enquiry first. Following this, the PE was converted into an FIR after the inquiry found that a large portion of the land allotted to the trust was wrongly classified as an "orchard" when, in fact, it was protected as grazing land. The CBI said that revenue records showed the land was not an "orchard".

In addition, the agency has also accused the then DC Jamwal of making false submissions to the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in this regard, claiming it was done "in connivance with RB Educational Trust, through its Chairperson Kanta Andotra".

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