The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday raided the flat of Bhupinder Singh Honey, said to be a nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, at Homeland Heights here in an illegal land mining case. According to sources, the raids were being conducted in 19 locations in Punjab by the enforcement directorate and the action is being taken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
However, there was no official response so far.
Punjab Police had registered a case in 2018 regarding illegal sand mining and Section 420 was later added to the FIR. On this basis, the ED had taken over the case.
In the initial investigation, one Kudratdeep Singh’s name had surfaced; when the ED questioned him it came to the fore that the main facilitator was Bhupinder Singh. Bhupinder is said to be the Chief Minister’s nephew and resides at Homeland Society in Sector 70.
Sources in the ED said the agency is probing whether the chief minister’s name was used to do illegal mining.
Earlier too, the issue had been highlighted by former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira when Channi was minister for technical education in the Amarinder government. However, Channi then had termed these allegations as baseless.
Reacting to the latest development, Chief Minister Channi said the ED raids were part of a political vendetta unleashed by the union government to target the INC leaders ahead of the elections. “The recent incidents also indicated defaming the INC government but we will not budge under pressure,” said Channi.
Reacting to the development, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “It’s very sad to know that raid is being conducted on the premises of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s relative in connection with a case of illegal sand mining. The Punjab chief minister and his relatives are involved in illegal sand mining,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Kejriwal had tweeted several times regarding the ongoing illegal sand mining racket. He had tweeted that Punjab Chief Minister Channi was not doing anything to stop it.