February 22, 2020
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All In The Family Plot

CBI finds unaccounted sums in raids on Laloo's kin

All In The Family Plot
Last fortnight, the CBI seemed to be closing in on Laloo when it carried out raids on his aides Mukul Kapoor and his brothers-in-law Sadhu Yadav and Subhash Yadav and their in-laws. While no one is putting a finger on any specific amount seized during the raids, CBI sleuths say a lot of unaccounted wealth was recovered.

At Mukul Kapoor's residence, the CBI recovered a crucial digital diary that had some references of major fodder suppliers and their bank account numbers both in Ranchi and Delhi. Mukul, who once worked at the residence of Karpoori Thakur, former chief minister and ideological 'guru' of the current dispensation, is regarded to be close to the chief minister. Since the raids, however, Kapoor has disappeared. Officials say all possible hideouts have been searched without any luck.

The raids at Laloo's ancestral houses at Gopalganj and Siwan, however, seemed to have yielded much more. At the residence of Yamuna Raut, a bank employee close to Sadhu Yadav's father-in-law, Indira Vikas Patras worth 'crores' were seized as were UTI shares valued at Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 44,000 in cash. Small amounts compared to the scam total, but enough to make a case.

While there was speculation that the CBI raids - which were carried out with the help of 50 of their staff - could hardly be kept a secret in the state and that the accused had been tipped off, the agency managed to interrogate some members of the extended family of the chief minister. Among those questioned include bank manager Bansidhar Shah and Sadhu Yadav's father-in-law Yamuna Chowdhary.

According to CBI officials, huge amounts of investment in land was found and land records seized. "If you look at their land holdings before Laloo became chief minister and now, it can only be described as a contrast," says an official connected to the investigations. But then that can be said about everyone who is alleged to be involved in the Rs 950-crore fodder scam.

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