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CBI raids home of Soren kin

Relatives of Jharkhand MLA Sita Soren at the Kedargouri apartment that was raided in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, June 13: A joint CBI team from Ranchi and Bhubaneswar today raided the Kedargouri residence of a relative of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren in connection with the horsetrading scandal that had led to the countermanding of the Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand in March.

The central agency turned the scanner today on relatives and associates of various Jharkhand MLAs and Independent candidates for the Upper House polls Pawan Dhoot and R.K. Agrawal.

Sources said the raid at the residence of Bad Narayan Majhi, father of Soren’s daughter-in-law Sita Soren, a JMM MLA in Jharkhand, began around 6.30am. Sita is the widow of Soren’s son Durga.

The investigating agency also raided the office and residence of Pawan Kumar Shah, a sponge iron unit owner at Jharsuguda, a relative of Agrawal’s son-in-law Saumitra Shah.

Pawan Kumar Shah’s sponge iron unit, which is located in the Kulabira police limits of Jharsuguda, was also searched by the CBI sleuths.

CBI officials said they had seized important documents in both raids. The documents are being examined.

The CBI has conducted raids at 20 places or so, all over the country in connection with the horsetrading scandal.

Sources said Bad Narayan Majhi had bought the duplex house at Kedargouri in 1991 and had been staying there with one of his daughters and a son. Majhi was not present at his house during the raid. His daughter Sonam and son Kuanr were home when the CBI team landed at their place. The Majhis are originally from Bahalada in Mayurbhanj district.

Majhi, who retired as the chief human resource manager of Indian Oil in February, is learnt to be in Ranchi.

Sonam said the raid had been on for three hours and the CBI sleuths quizzed them about her father’s properties and left with some documents.

On May 22, CBI sleuths in Ranchi conducted a raid that had gone on for six hours at Sita’s Dhuruva residence in Ranchi and seized several documents.

Sita is an MLA from Jama in Jharkhand.

Sita had allegedly voted in favour of an Independent candidate in the March polls for the Rajya Sabha, which were countermanded by the Election Commission on March 30 following allegations of horse-trading.

Sources said today’s raids were the fourth by the CBI, which was entrusted with the probe into the scandal after cash worth Rs 2.15 crore was recovered from a vehicle in Ranchi that belonged to an associate of Independent candidate R.K. Agrawal hours before voting for the Upper House elections began on March 30.