Day after raids in Chhattisgarh, ED detains IAS officer

Reports suggest questioning of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s powerful Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasiya by the ED sleuths since early morning.

Day after raids in Chhattisgarh, ED detains IAS officer

(FIle Photo)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Wednesday, detained an IAS officer along with his wife for questioning in a graft case on a day after raids the Central agency carried out in the state capital.

Samir Vishnoi, the IAS officer, and his wife, along with a few others, were detained by ED officials for questioning over alleged illegal transactions and the seizure of cash and precious metals from his house.

ED authorities sealed the official residence of Raigarh Collector Ranu Sahu as she was not present when the raids began on Tuesday morning. Her whereabouts are still not confirmed. Her IAS husband and Markfed Managing Director JP Maurya also could not be traced, sources said.


There are reports that suggest the questioning of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s powerful Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasiya by the ED sleuths since early morning. Cash to the tune of Rs 6 crore has also been seized by the agency besides sensitive documents from different locations, sources claimed.

ED sleuths, yesterday, raided more than 15 premises belonging to businessmen, politicians and powerful bureaucrats widely believed to be close to Chief Minister Baghel who warned last month that his police will act tough against any complaint of hounding by the central agencies.

The much-anticipated ED raids came close on the heels of IT raids in July this year on many of those who were raided. However, the entire operation by the ED was aborted midway as someone privy to the raids spilled the beans to his contacts in Chhattisgarh government a day before the actual raids took place.

The Statesman carried a story on August 31 about the rage in the saffron party over the reported complicity of certain high ranking officials of ED, Income Tax (IT) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) with the powerful officers of the state government and certain liquor and mining tycoons who have been under the scanner of the ED and IT for quite some time.

ED teams began their raids on the premises related to businessman Suryakant Tiwari, his relatives and associates, Raigarh Collector Ranu Sahu, her IAS husband JP Maurya and another IAS Sameer Vishnoi and Chief Minister Baghel’s trusted aide Saumya Chaurasiya along with others early this morning, sources said.

Business and residential premises of Tiwari’s father-in-law and former Congress MLA Agni Chandrakar, businessman Sunny Lunia, Badal Makkar, Ajay Naidu, CA Prakash Malu and liquor baron Amolak Singh Bhatia have also been raided, sources added. However, there is no official word from the agency so far.

Income Tax sleuths earlier in July raided 29 locations related to the same set of people in which they claimed to have stumbled upon evidence of collection of more than Rs 200 crore of illicit money, cash payments made to government officials, and evidence suggesting election funding with the ill-gotten money.

The ED sleuths faced resistance from the police when they tried to barge through the iron gates of an upscale residential complex where Saumya Chaurasiya lives. The locality was turned into a virtual fortress during IT raids in July.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Baghel began to lose his cool with almost all his trusted officers and businessmen coming under IT and ED lens.

“We are not against the Central agencies. They are welcome to operate here. If someone has committed something wrong, then the Central agencies should take action against them. But they should not unnecessarily torment people,” he told media persons in Durg last month.