Uliburu mining scam: State Vigilance swings into action

Bhubaneswar: The vigilance wing of the Odisha police on Monday conducted raids at 10 places across the state and lodged criminal cases against 18 people including Deepak Gupta, who held the power of attorney to operate B K Mohanty iron ore mines, and his five family members in connection with a mining scam at Uliburu of Keonjhar district.

Besides the investigating officials detained B K Mohanty, who has 35 hectare iron ore lease at Uliburu in Joda mineral circle and is accused of illegally raising and exporting iron ore worth Rs 1,800 crore up to 2009.

Ten teams of vigilance officials raided residences of the mine leaseholder and suspended government officials at Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Jasipur and Athagarh.

"We have conducted raids at 10 places and detained BK mohanty, the mine leaseholder for further investigation," said Sashi Bhsushan Mishra, superintendent of police, vigilance department.

Officials also raided the residence of suspended Mines deputy director Manas Mohanty, Joda mining officer Sharat Chandra Sahu and seized some money.

Meanwhile, another team searched Keonjhar ex-forester Dilip Beura's Athagarh house. The officials also conducted raids at houses of Suspended mining offcial Routray Murmu and Joda ex-DDM Madanmohan Biswal.

Earlier this month, the vigilance officials raided five government and private offices at Keonjhar and Bhubanswar.

Ever since the vigilance wing started investigation into the Uliburu mining scam, the state government has suspended 14 officials, seven each from steel and mines department and forest department.