Former J&K Minister Lal Singh arrested by ED in money laundering case

Lal Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra and and daughter Kranti Singh were earlier granted interim anticipatory bail till November 30 by the court in the case

November 08, 2023 12:08 am | Updated 12:09 pm IST - Jammu

Lal Singh. File

Lal Singh. File | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 7 evening arrested Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS) chairman and former Member of Parliament Chaudhary Lal Singh in Jammu in a case related to irregularities in acquiring land by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) run by his wife.

His arrest came hours after an anti-corruption court dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Mr. Singh, who was questioned by the ED on Saturday and Monday, according to the party workers.

Mr. Lal Singh was being questioned in a case related to the violation of the ceiling limit of 100 standard kanals imposed under Section 14 of the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, and was accused of “undue pecuniary advantage to the R.B. Educational Trust run by his wife.

In 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case against Kathua-based educational trust to investigate the allegations its chairperson and others for “facilitating to possess land much beyond the ceiling limit and after submission of false affidavits in support of the trust, which resulted in loss to the state exchequer”.

Mr. Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra and and daughter Kranti Singh were earlier granted interim anticipatory bail till November 30 by the court in the case.

Mr. Singh left the BJP after the Centre decided to revoke special provisions of Article 370 and split J&K into two Union Territories in 2019. Recently, Mr. Singh launched a major public outreach and started galvanising support for his demands, which include separate statehood for Jammu and special status under Article 371.

Mr. Singh is a rare voice in Jammu opposing the BJP for its policies in J&K post-2019, especially in Jammu. He was also seen during the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi last year. Mr. Singh left the Congress in 2014 to join the BJP. Mr. Singh also served as a Minister during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-BJP alliance in J&K.

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