In a midnight operation, Income Tax (IT) department officials along with the Election Commission officials carried out a raid on the premises of senior leader Duraimurugan of the DMK, the Congress party ally in Tamil Nadu. Congress and DMK have joined hands and formed an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
According to the reports, Income Tax sleuths conducted raids in Vellore despite opposition from the DMK legal cell functionaries, who refused to allow teams of the tax department’s election surveillance and monitoring and district static surveillance and flying squads to hold searches without a warrant.
The IT officers carried out raids till 10 AM on Saturday morning at the Vellore residence of Durai Murugan, whose son DM Kathir Anand is contesting in Vellore Lok Sabha constituency. Along with his residence, Kingston Engineering College and Durai Murugan B.Ed College, both owned by Murugan’s son Kathir Anand have also been raided.
The IT department stated that Rs. 10 lakh unaccounted cash was seized during the search. “The search in the residence is over where about Rs. 19 lakh cash was found. After allowing cash declared in election affidavit of about Rs. 6 lakh etc., cash of Rs. 10 lakh determined as excess is being seized,” a statement issued by the IT department on Saturday said.
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The Income Tax department has also recovered a huge amount of cash from a cement godown in Vellore. The cash was shifted here from Duraimurugan college on March 29-30 midnight, said an I-T official, according to the Times of India report.
Meanwhile, Durai Murugan has termed the IT raids as ‘purely political’ with a motive to ‘snatch his son’s victory prospects’ by hampering electioneering. Speaking to the media, he said, “It is purely political. If the IT wanted to hold a search, they should have done it last month. Why should they come now? We will face it legally.”
However, the IT department has clarified that it had conducted the search ‘on being called by District Election Officer, Vellore,’ and after receiving the official memorandum issued by the State Police Chief.