Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday launched raids at several places in the state linked to alleged illegal mining.

As per reports, the raids are underway at Barbil in Keonjhar, Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar. Two teams containing more than 20 ED officials arrived in Rourkela from Bhubaneswar and Ranchi at 8am on Friday morning and started the raids.

The raid teams are reportedly carrying out an investigation at the residences of mine leaseholders in Bhubaneswar. The residences of some businessmen are also being raided.

In Rourkela, the ED team is carrying out an investigation in the house of chartered accountant and businessman Ajay Kadmawala.

Apart from Odisha, raids are also being carried out in Kolkata of West Bengal.

While the exact reason behind the raid is yet to be disclosed by the ED, central forces have been deployed at the places of raids.

The raids are still continuing and the ED is expected to make a statement in this regard once the raids are over.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ED officials recently raided several places linked to BJD MLA Prafulla Samal and his son Prayaskanti Samal over allegations of misappropriation of funds to the tune of crores of rupees from Barapada Engineering College near Bhadrak.

The ED had served notice to the legislator and his son Prayaskanti Samal to depose before it on February 28 over allegations of financial mismanagement and irregularities worth Rs 20 crore.

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Following the notice, Samal appeared before the ED in Bhubaneswar and was questioned by the officials for eight hours.

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