The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has uncovered a huge cache of foreign-made weapons, cash, and liquor during its raids in connection with the Haryana mining case. The raids were conducted at the premises of former INLD MLA Dilbag Singh and his associates, who are accused of money laundering and illegal mining of boulders, gravel, and sand in Yamunanagar and nearby districts.
ED seizes rifles, cartridges, and cash from former MLA’s house
According to the ED, the raids recovered four foreign-made rifles, about 300 cartridges, Rs 5 crore in cash, and more than 100 liquor bottles from the house of Dilbag Singh in Panchkula. The ED also seized several documents related to his properties and bank accounts. Dilbag Singh, who was the MLA from Yamunanagar in 2009, is alleged to have amassed huge wealth through illegal mining activities in violation of the lease expiry period and the court’s order.
ED probes money laundering and illegal mining nexus
The ED had registered a case of money laundering against Dilbag Singh and others in 2019, based on several FIRs filed by the Haryana Police. The ED had earlier attached assets worth Rs 20.4 crore belonging to Dilbag Singh and his family members under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED has alleged that Dilbag Singh and his associates had used various shell companies and benami entities to launder the proceeds of crime generated from illegal mining.
ED raids expose the rampant illegal mining in Haryana
The ED raids have exposed the extent of illegal mining in Haryana, especially in the Aravalli region, which is a protected ecological zone. The illegal mining has caused severe damage to the environment and the wildlife in the area. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned mining along the Aravalli in 2018 and had imposed hefty penalties on the violators. However, the illegal mining continues unabated with the connivance of the local politicians, officials, and contractors.
ED raids spark political reactions in Haryana
The ED raids have sparked political reactions in Haryana, with the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress trading charges over the issue. The BJP has claimed that the raids have exposed the corruption and criminality of the previous INLD regime, which had patronized the illegal mining mafia. The Congress has accused the BJP of misusing the ED to target its political rivals and divert attention from its own failures in governance.