The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently conducting raids at various locations in Delhi, Chandigarh, and Uttarakhand in connection with an alleged forest scam involving former Uttarakhand Minister Harak Singh Rawat, according to sources on Monday.
During Rawat’s term as the state forest minister in the BJP Government, he and some of his departmental officers faced serious allegations related to illegal tree cutting and construction in the Pakhro range of Corbett Park under the Tiger Safari Project.
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) reported that over 6,000 trees were illegally cut in the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) for the Pakhru tiger safari, contrary to the approved 163 trees. However, the state forest department disputed the FSI’s findings, citing technical issues that needed resolution before accepting the report.
This isn’t the first time that properties associated with Rawat have been scrutinized by the ED. Previously, the Uttarakhand Vigilance Team had conducted raids on an institute in Dehradun’s Shankarpur and a petrol pump in Chhiddarwala connected to him.
Vigilance Chief V Murugesan revealed that an examination of documents at both locations found that both properties belonged to Congress leader and former Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat. Two generator sets installed at these private places were reportedly purchased with government funds. Further investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Confirming that both the Doon Institute of Medical Sciences in Shankarpur and the raided petrol pump belonged to Rawat’s son, Murugesan did not establish any connection between Harak Singh Rawat and the alleged misuse of government funds. He emphasized that the investigation is in progress, and details will be disclosed once the process is complete.
The recent vigilance operation against Harak Singh Rawat’s properties was initiated by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.