Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/ Edited by Swetaparna Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, July 29 The state vigilance today initiated criminal proceedings against 18 persons in the Rs 1,800 crore Uliburu iron ore mining scam. While BK Mohanty, the original lease holder of the mines, has been detained, cases have been registered against Deepak Gupta, power of attorney holder of BK Mohanty Mines and his family members.
Earlier today, the state vigilance simultaneously raided many places including the residence of suspended deputy director of mines Manas Mohanty and miner BK Mohanty in connection with the Rs 1,800-crore in the Uliburu iron ore mining scam.
About 10 teams of the vigilance department’s special cell conducted raids in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jashipur and Athagarh residences of Forest and Mines department officials suspended for their alleged involvement in the scam.
“The vigilance sleuths are conducting raids at different locations in the state in connection with the illegal mining by BK Mohanty mines,” said Surendra Panwar, ADG, Vigilance.
It is to be noted that the state government has already suspended seven mining officials, including deputy directors of mines Manas Mohanty and Madanmohan Biswal and seven forest officials, for dereliction of duty during 2005-2009, when the illegal mining took place. The government will initiate departmental proceedings after the vigilance inquiry is over.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a vigilance probe into the scam following an inquiry by the Revenue department.
Recently, the Forest department also initiated action against seven foresters and forest guards, who were posted in the Uliburu region in Keonjhar forest division’s Barbil range when the illegal mining took place.