| Amar Singh
New Delhi, Aug. 19: The house and a factory owned by a brother of Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh were raided by the central excise department on charges of misusing government quota to illegally sell methyl alcohol.
The raids found an echo in Parliament, with Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav alleging that Amar Singh’s aged father was insulted by the raiding officers. He said the raids reflected an “undeclared emergency” imposed by the government.
While replying to the debate on the no-trust motion, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee said: “We have got reports. The Centre is not involved and it is an act of the state (Uttar Pradesh) government. There is a need to stop this.”
This would indicate the raids were ordered by chief minister Mayavati, the Samajwadi Party’s arch enemy.
From around 9 last night till 2 this morning, Amar Singh’s brother Arvind’s house and factory, Easter India Limited, at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, were searched.
Excise officials said they had seized documents relating to the quota (93 litres) issued by the Uttar Pradesh government to buy methyl alcohol.
A company holding this quota can purchase the chemical at subsidised rates from the government to make methyl acetate used in lamination.
Four other chemical factories in Sahibabad, in Uttar Pradesh, bordering Delhi, belonging to local businessmen, were searched, too, excise sources said.
The searches were conducted following information that Easter India was allegedly selling on the black market methyl alcohol, which it received at subsidised rates from the government, excise assistant commissioner Amarjeet Singh, who led the raiding party, said.
Soon after the Lok Sabha assembled today, Mulayam Singh requested the Speaker to set up a committee of MPs to probe the circumstances of the raid.
He said the officials “did not know Amar Singh had resigned from the (raided) companies six years ago”.
Some officers of the raiding party had also threatened Singh’s family, saying that they would compile a report against Amar Singh “to teach him a lesson when Parliament was in session”, Mulayam Singh said.