Anantnag: The homes of four people who had purchased the ancestral land of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti a few years ago were on Saturday raided by sleuths of the CID wing of police here in Bijbehara town of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
They were among others whose offices, shops and homes were raided in different parts of Kashmir in connection with an anti-corruption case, as per CID officials.
The sleuths accompanied by the police and CRPF raided houses in Goriwan, Zirpara and New Colony areas of Bijbehara town early morning and the questioning of inmates continued for several hours.
As per local sources, these people whose houses were raided and were subjected to questioning had either purchased the land belonging to Mehbooba Mufti’s family or had facilitated the land deal, which was worth a couple of crores at that point in time.
“We were asked to produce the documents of the land. Besides, we were also made to fill a questionnaire which had questions pertaining to personal and professional information,” one of the individuals whose house was raided told Kashmir Reader, requesting anonymity.
He said that they duly filled the questionnaire and answered every question that was asked during the course of the questioning.
The land in question was held jointly by Mehbooba and her cousin and former PDP leader Sajad Mufti. Sajad has constructed a mansion on his share of the land while Mehbooba sold it away after the death of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
Kashmir Reader talked to a senior police official from Bijbehara who said that the police were asked to accompany and that they know nothing more. “We don’t know what the raids are about. We were asked to accompany and here we are,” he said.
Superintendent of Police (CID) in Srinagar, Altaf Khan, refused to comment and said a detailed press release has already been issued in this regard.
The press statement issued says that raids were conducted at 22 places in Kashmir, Jammu and Delhi in connection with a case bearing FIR number 29-2020 under Sections 120-B, 409, 477-A of the IPC and section 13(I) (C) and (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act as well as Section 13, 39 UA (P) Act.
“Teams of CID investigators looked for additional evidence pertaining to several dubious and irregular financial transactions. Many of these involve suspected collusion between bank officials, private persons and public servants,” it said.
There was no mention of Mehbooba Mufti or her land deal in the press release.
It said that a total of 22 premises in Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag, Jammu and Delhi, which include private offices and residences, were searched.
“The suspected irregularities amounting to a variety of offences under different provisions of law include concealment, suspicious and dubious transactions from identification and scrutiny by closing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) alerts, wrongly closing alerts that were to be mandatorily furnished by the bank under the regulatory directions notified by RBI with faulty and false closure remarks as ‘STR’ (Suspicious Transaction Reports) or ‘already reported in STR’ or other related comments, whereas STR MIS did not contain these alerts,” the statement said.
According to the handout, “Dishonest exporters in collusion with bank officials obtained money in advance but did not submit invoices and documents to prove that the advance so obtained from the bank have been utilised lawfully.
“Bank officials failing to raise alerts wherein funds flowed from many different accounts into one account even when these transactions involved acceptance of huge deposits and withdrawals in cash in violation of banking rules and regulations. The raids led to recovery of incriminating evidences which would be analysed for further action and form useful pieces of evidence in the investigation,” it said.