SUMAN K SHRIVASTAVA
Ranchi, Oct. 18: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said that the preliminary enquiry conducted by the agency corroborates the submission of petitioners (Mukesh Yadav and Ashok Yadav) that Bijay Hansda at times acted under the influence of accused persons in SC/ST Sahibganj P.S. Case No.06 of 2022.
The CBI, filing an affidavit in the Jharkhand High Court, has sought the court to pass an order that is “deemed fit and proper in the interest of justice.”
The CBI has stated that the High Court (while hearing a petition filed by Bijay Hansda alleging illegal mining at Nimbu Pahad in Sahibganj) ordered the agency, on August 18, only to enquire into the conduct of accused persons (Pankaj Mishra among others) named in the SC/ST Sahibganj P.S. Case No.06/2022 dated 01.12.2022 as well as the complainant Bijay Hansda and direction for the Director, CBI to take further action in accordance with the law.
The court had issued the orders on the petition of Bijay Hansda, who alleged that for the last two-and-a-half years, “stone mafias” have been doing “illegal mining” in connivance with government officials including mining officials of his district.
Hansda had alleged that he had seen that illegal mining was done in the presence of Pankaj Mishra, a close aide of the Jharkhand chief minister, but his complaints to the district officials did not result in any action from their side.
The Enforcement Directorate had also told the high court that Mishra is a person who controls the illegal stone mining and their transportation in Sahibganj.
However, Hansda later moved a petition to withdraw his case, which the high court refused.
“The court finds that there are sufficient materials of illegal mining in the district of Sahibganj that too on the behest of one Pankaj Mishra and others and if such materials are there on the record, the court finds in view of the counter-affidavit filed by the respondent State of Jharkhand that the investigation is only an eyewash so far the illegal mining is concerned,” Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi said in his order.
According to the CBI affidavit, the inquiry conducted by CBI on the direction of the High Court revealed that on 16.08.2023 Anupam Kumar, Enforcement Officer of ED Office, Ranchi was in the High Court premises after receiving a tip-off from ED Officer Deovrat Jha that one Rajesh Yadav @ Dahu Yadav who was absconding in their case was sighted along with his associates Yadav @ Chhotu Yadav near the New High Court Building, Ranchi.
“Deovrat Jha shared this information with Aman Patel, AEO and he was also instructed to reach there at the earliest. Jha had also instructed Anupam Kumar, E.O. to join Aman Patel, AEO for keeping an eye on Dahu Yadav and taking action in light of the NBW issued by the Special Court PMLA, Ranchi against him.
Anupam Kumar was accompanied by Manish Mishra, Data Entry Operator. Anupam Kumar was also taking assistance of petitioners-Mukesh Yadav and Ashok Yadav- who could identify Dahu Yadav as they were from Sahibganj. On seeing Bijay Hansda, Anupam Kumar asked him about the presence of Rajesh Yadav to which he did not respond and moved ahead with 3-4 other persons. However, he said that they had come along with Bishnu Yadav @ Chhotu Yadav. Bijay Hansda was not responding to the queries of Anupam Kumar.”
“Thereafter, one of the persons telephoned advocate Sudhanshu Shekhar Choudhary, who came to the spot in High Court near the canteen along with Chotu Yadav and took away Bijay Hansda with him. In the meantime, Aman Patel, AEO also tried to capture the video of the incident but one of the associates of Bishnu Yadav did not allow to record the incident and immediately one person namely Gautam snatched the mobile phone of Aman Patel and returned it after request of Ashok Yadav, the petitioner, who was also present there.
“It also came to light that there was some altercation between Bijay Hansda and petitioners Mukesh Yadav and Ashok Yadav, as they were trying to retrieve the mobile phone of Aman Patel from the snatcher who was accompanying Bishnu Yadav. Thereafter, at the behest of Sudhanshu Shekhar Choudhary, Advocate, Bijay Hansda filed a complaint dated 16.08.2023 with Dhurwa Police Station, Ranchi. Dhurwa P.S. very promptly got the complaint verified the same day and registered FIR No 0240 dated 17.08.2023 at 2300 Hrs. against petitioners, Mukesh Yadav and Ashok Yadav,” the affidavit said.
“Mukesh Yadav and Ashok Yadav during their examination also stated that one of the associates of Chhotu Yadav present along with Bijay Hansda in High Court Campus had actually snatched the mobile phone of an ED Officer, which Ashok Yadav had opposed and had directed the said person (Gautam) to return the same,” the affidavit said.
Pankaj Mishra, in the meantime, has challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court, which, while hearing the case on September 26, had adjourned it for three weeks.