01:16 GMT16 May 2021
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    In August 2019, India abrogated Article 370 of its constitution in order to withdraw the temporary special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, which was divided it into two federally-administered territories.

    India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Tuesday carried out simultaneous raids in Jammu and Kathua districts in a connection with a probe into allegations of corruption by a trust run by former Bharatiya Janata Party minister Choudhary Lal Singh. 

    Singh had quit the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party following a row over the rape and murder of a young nomadic girl in Kathua in 2018 and floated a party Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS).

    According to a senior CBI official, the probe agency sleuths carried out searches at nine locations - three in Jammu and six in Kathua including the residence of the former BJP minister.

    The CBI also registered a case of criminal breach of trust and corruption against R B Educational Trust, run by Singh and his family as well as certain government officials. Earlier, on 25 June, the agency registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) to probe the allegations of land grabbing by Singh.

    Besides naming the R B Educational Trust, which is in the name of Singh’s wife and son, the others named in the FIR include the then-Kathua deputy commissioner and several revenue officers on the allegations of having facilitated trust in possessing land far beyond the limit and submission of a false affidavit in support of the trust, causing losses for the state exchequer.

    Ever since scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has been going hard pursuing corruption charges in the valley to remove it at the grass-root level.

    At least 17 major cases related to money laundering and financial irregularities have been registered by the federal agencies since the beginning of the year. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that received more power after the abolition of the special status by the Modi government has also begun a probe of highly influential people.

    As per the official details accessed by Sputnik, the ACB has registered 17 corruption cases in 2020 in Kashmir. Officials at the ACB revealed that most of the cases have been registered against politicians and bureaucrats.


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