Katha factories were raided on complaint: IG Jammu

“After going through the complaint, we felt that there is lot of scope of malpractice in these factories and accordingly an FIR was lodged,” the IG said.

YOGESH SAGOTRA
Jammu, Publish Date: Apr 23 2018 12:34AM | Updated Date: Apr 23 2018 12:34AM
Katha factories were raided on complaint: IG JammuFile Photo

Inspector general of police (IGP) Jammu, S D S Jamwalon Sunday said that raids on Katha factories reportedly linked with former forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh were carried out on a complaint.

“On April 19, we received a complaint alleging malpractice in Katha factories,” Singh told reporters after visiting Kathua industrial area, where two factories involved in manufacturing of Katha with forest produce were seized during raids on 20 April.

“After going through the complaint, we felt that there is lot of scope of malpractice in these factories and accordingly an FIR was lodged,” the IG said.

“Two factories were sealed in Kathua and one in Samba besides two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) headed by SP rank officers were constituted to probe the matter and submit a report,” the IG said.

“The case is open but the quantity of the timber seized and the approximate cost of the forest scam are yet to be calculated,” he said adding that they were consulting the forest department experts also to get details of forest acts. 

“The investigation has just begun, so far no arrest has been made in the case,” he said.

Sources said both the factories were reportedly linked with former forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh who recently resigned from the Mehbooba Mufti’s cabinet following national outrage over his participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally in support of Kathua rape accused.

However, after resignation, Lal Singh opened front against the government and led a “mass movement” to seek CBI probe into the case, which was embarrassing for the PDP-BJP collation.

Sources said extensive raids were conducted on business outlets belonging to Lal Singh’s allies, after the forest ministry went to deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh.

However, Lal Singh yesterday said that raids on his friends’ businesses won’t stop him from seeking CBI probe.

“We are seeking CBI probe into Kathua case to clarify all the aspects, but some people have created unnecessary drama on this. They are trying to muzzle my voice by conducting raids on my friends’ businesses,” Singh said during his rally in Kathua.