The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted search operations at several places in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in connection with an alleged illegal coal mining and transportation case in the Asansol-Raniganj belt of West Bengal, sources said.
The anti-corruption branch of the CBI raided premises of people in the two states, who it is suspected have links with Anup Majee alias Lala, the prime accused in the case, sources in the investigating agency said here.
Majee, the director of a company engaged in purchase and sale of the dry fuel, has been evading arrest. The CBI has also issued a look-out notice against him.
CBI sources said that the agency is keeping a close watch on businessmen who have a close connection with Majee.
The investigating agency on November 28 last year carried out a massive search operation in a number of locations in four states -- West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh - after registering a case against Majee.
The CBI had acted on information from "reliable sources" indicating illegal excavation and theft of coal in the leasehold area of Eastern Coalfields Limited in "connivance" with the officials of ECL, CISF and Railways.
The CBI team on February 23 visited the residence of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and examined his wife Rujira in connection with the case. The agency also examined Rujira's sister Menaka Gambhir on the previous day on the same matter.
The MP is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew.