Jammu, Nov 4: The Enforcement Directorate Saturday called the chairman Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party and former minister Chowdhary Lal Singh for questioning at its office in Jammu.
The questioning was in connection with a case of money laundering allegedly by RB Educational Trust, Jammu belonging to the family of Singh.
Singh’s wife and former MLA Basohli Kanta Andotra is the chairperson of R B Educational Trust, against which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had lodged an FIR in 2020 and a charge sheet was filed in 2021
Official sources said that the questioning session, which began as early as around 10 am, spanned over 10 hours or so. Singh was allowed to leave the office in the evening, with the direction to appear again on November 6.
As long as Singh’s questioning was in progress, his supporters continued protesting outside. Meanwhile, Singh’s wife Kanta, while speaking to media persons, described the summoning and questioning of her husband as “a witch-hunt” by the political detractors (BJP). The same charge was echoed by Singh also after he came out of the ED office. “I’m not among those who would succumb to such pressure tactics and allow injustice to prevail. I will fight till the end,” he announced.
On October 17, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) 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 investigation were also searched. ED initiated an 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’ to retain lands to the extent of more than 328 kanal in favour of her trust beyond the permissible limit of 100 standard kanal,” he had said.
According to the ED spokesperson, during the 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.