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Bengal coal smuggling case: Former GM of ECL, 2 others sent to judicial custody


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Kolkata, June 29:  A special CBI court in West Bengal’s Asansol on Saturday remanded a former General Manager of the Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) and two others to judicial custody till July 3 in connection with the multi-crore coal smuggling case in the state.

The three individuals were produced before the court at the end of their three-day CBI custody on Saturday. After hearing the arguments, the judge of the special court remanded them to judicial custody till July 3, the day when the process of framing of charges is scheduled to begin.

The accused individuals include Amit Kumar Dhar, former General Manager of ECL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), and Srimonto Thakur and Vidyasagar Das, both private coal traders. During the hearing on Saturday, the CBI counsel claimed the accused were not cooperating with the investigation, though they named a few individuals whom the central agency will question in due course.

A total of 43 persons have been named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI before the special court. Out of these, one person has died while one of the prime suspects in the case, Vinay Mishra, is absconding. As per the latest information available with the central agency, Mishra, a former youth Trinamool Congress leader, is hiding in Vanuatu Island after obtaining citizenship of the country in southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Another prime accused in the case, Anup Majhi a.k.a. Lala, was absconding for a long time before surrendering before the special CBI court in Asansol On May 14. Majhi was granted conditional bail against a personal bond of Rs 10,000.



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