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CBI raids Dhanbad collieries

Bokaro, Feb. 26: A six-member CBI team and officers from Coal India Limited’s (CIL) vigilance cell raided more than half a dozen collieries and offices of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) at Sijua, 25km from Dhanbad town, on Wednesday.

The swoop is said to have followed missing tonnes of coal in existing stock.

According to sources, the officers posted at BCCL collieries had given inflated figures in stock registers to cheat the CIL exchequer. The figures in the record book did not tally with the amount of coal supplied, added the source.

Highly placed sources in the CBI further revealed that the investigating officers had seized several files, other documents and even a few computer floppies, which corroborated the claims of corrupt practices in the collieries of BCCL — a CIL subsidiary.

Dhanbad CBI inspector Avinash Kumar, who is leading investigations, said: “The raids were conducted early in the morning at Sijua-V collieries. We seized several files and documents.” He refused to comment on what prompted the surprise raids.

CBI SP P.K. Maji, however, stated that the raids were conducted after receiving complaints of bungling in collieries.

Sources added that the deficit was first detected by CIL’s internal vigilance wing. The matter was referred to the coal ministry, which handed over the probe to CBI.

Wednesday’s raids were a part of its investigations.