"A criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered by the ED. It will soon issue summons and question the accused involved including some unknown private entities," agency sources said.

The sources added they have taken cognisance of the earlier media reports that had referred to a firm linked to Vadra, son in law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, which had purchased some of these lands. The agency did not take the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR  but it has named some state government officials and some of the 'land mafia'.

Vadra could not be reached for comments but the Congress party called it 'sheer political vendetta'. "He (Vadra) has done no wrong.  No case is pending against him. This is sheer political vendetta," Congress general secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters when asked about the ED action.

The state government had in January this year cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of 'illegal private persons'.

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