Jammu, Nov 6: Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday resumed questioning of chairman Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party and the former minister Chowdhary Lal Singh yet again at its office here, in connection with a case of money laundering allegedly by RB Educational Trust, Jammu belonging to his (Singh’s) family.
This was the second session of Singh’s questioning as earlier on November 4, the ED had grilled him for over 10 hours or so.
Today also it was a repeat of the spectacle that prevailed on November 4 as while Singh was being questioned, his supporters, led by her wife and former MLA Kanta Andotra, continued protesting outside the ED office. Their accusation was that Singh was “framed and being harassed” by his political detractors (BJP) as they were feeling threatened by his growing political stature, in the wake of parliamentary polls, scheduled to be held next year.
Andotra also echoed similar sentiments and stated that without “succumbing to such pressure tactics, they would continue their fight to safeguard people’s interests and democracy, which was under threat.”
Andotra is the chairperson of R B Educational Trust, against which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had lodged an FIR in 2020 and charge sheet was filed in 2021.
She (Andotra) too was questioned by ED on October 18, a day after raids were conducted (by ED) at several locations including her residence.
On October 17, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had conducted search operations at eight locations spread over Jammu and Kathua districts in the Union Territory of J&K and Pathankot, Punjab under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in a case against RB Educational Trust, Jammu, Ajay Singh, former DC Kathua and other Revenue officers/officials.
Searches were conducted at multiple locations including the office of the trust situated at the village. Karandi Khurd PO Rajbagh Kathua and residential premises of these persons.
“Residential premises of land donors and other middlemen whose names had surfaced during the course of investigation were also searched. ED initiated investigation on the basis of FIR registered and subsequent chargesheet filed by CBI ACB, Jammu against RB Educational Trust, Jammu, Ajay Singh, the then DC Kathua and other Revenue officers/officials,” ED spokesperson had said, in an official statement.
“ED investigation revealed that RB Educational Trust through its Chairperson Kanta Andotra (ex-MLA), her husband Ch Lal Singh (ex-minister and two times ex-MP) and other trustees in connivance with Ravinder Singh (the then Patwari), Gaurav Sharma (the then Naib Tehsildar) and Subhash Chander (the then Tehsildar) had entered into criminal conspiracy during the period 2011 for wrongful issuance of ‘fards’ so as to retain lands to the extent of more than 328 kanals in favor of her trust beyond the permissible limit of 100 standard kanals,” he had said.
According to the ED spokesperson, during the course of search, various incriminating documents in the form of property documents, Power of attorneys, hard disk, digital device, digital evidence and loose papers were found and seized.