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Odisha: Former official arrested for involvement in multi-crore mining scam

Press Trust of India

Last Updated: June 27, 2015, 18:06 IST

Representative image

Representative image

Suspended Deputy Director of Mines, Manas Ranjan Mohanty was arrested by anti-corruption wing for allowing illegal iron ore extraction in Keonjhar district.

Bhubaneswar: A suspended Deputy Director of Mines in Odisha was arrested on Saturday by the anti-corruption vigilance wing for allegedly allowing extraction of huge quantity of iron ore illegally beyond the mining lease area in Keonjhar district.

Manas Ranjan Mohanty was arrested by Vigilance officers here in connection with a multi-crore Uliburu Reserve Forest Area mining scam, a vigilance statement said.

Mohanty and others in connivance with Mining Lease holders, fraudulently allowed other accused persons to extract huge quantity of iron ore illegally beyond the Mining Lease area and permitted them to dispatch/sell at under valued price to M/s Deepak Steel & Power Ltd and others, causing huge loss to the government exchequer, the statement said.

A chargesheet dated December 31, 2013 had been submitted against Mohanty and others showing him as absconder and Special Vigilance Judge, Keonjhar had subsequently issued non-bailable warrant against Mohanty.

Last month the Enforcement Directorate had issued orders attaching assets worth Rs 400 crore of three firms, their owners and associates in the Uliburu mining scam case which was also probed by Justice (retd) M B Shah Commission for alleged financial irregularities and corruption.

The agency's Kolkata zonal office, under which Odisha falls, had attached a number of immovable and movable assets of the accused firms in the case like Deepak Steel, Deepak Steel and Power and Sneh Pushp and their directors like Deepak Kumar, Champak Gupta and Haricharan Gupta and a few others.

The assets attached under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case largely include land and buildings spread across Odisha and Kolkata.

The case pertains to Uliburu mines area located in Joda mining circle in Keonjhar district of Odisha where large scale alleged irregularities were detected by the state mines department a few years back.

Justice Shah Commission, which probed a number of mining scam cases in Odisha and Goa, had termed this particular case as "one of the biggest illegal minings ever" and recommended a CBI probe into the matter.

first published:June 27, 2015, 18:06 IST
last updated:June 27, 2015, 18:06 IST