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IT raids at Sasikala’s family, associates continues

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SASIKALA

Chennai, Nov 10: For the second consecutive day on Friday Income Tax (IT) officials continued their massive raids at the premises of close relatives of jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala, their business associates and organisations connected to them, a senior IT official said.

He also said that “sizeable volume of cash and documents” have been seized at the searched premises.

“The volume and value of cash and documents seized would be known only after they are totalled after completing the entire operation,” he told IANS preferring anonymity.

“In some places the search operations have ended and in many places the it is still going on,” he added.

The searches were conducted in connection with unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to Sasikala and Dinakaran.

The IT department will look at the routing of funds within India whereas other agencies will look into the routing of money outside India, the official said.

According to him, the nature of this search operation “is different” and it is not just searching the premises and seizing unaccounted cash.

“We have information about shell companies and the search is in connection with their operations,” he said.

Whether the bank accounts of the searched persons, companies would be “frozen to detect suspect transactions and other actions”, would be taken only after collating the data from the seized papers.

On Thursday, a team of around 1,800 IT officials knocked at the doors of 187 premises-residences, offices and farm houses — to carry out one of their biggest searches on the members, business establishment and business associates of one single family, that is, Sasikala’s.

The places raided included the residence of M. Natarajan, Sasikala’s husband, in Thanjavur, Kodanad Tea Estate belonging to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, Jazz Cinemas, Midas Distilleries, Sharada Paper and Boards, Senthil Group of Companies, Nilgiri Furniture in Coimbatore, Jaya TV, Namadhu MGR and several other premises in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

The operation was kept secret, so much so that the raiding tax officials hired private cabs and had pasted wedding stickers on the windscreens of vehicles involved in the operation so as not to arouse suspicion.

IANS

Election

Congress goes to Election Commission with E-tendering scam in MP

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VIVEK TANKHA

New Delhi, Sep 25 : The Congress on Tuesday alleged an e-tender scam worth Rs 30,000 crore in last four years in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and approached the Election Commission raising concern that it could impact the assembly elections in the state.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, Congress leader Vivek Tankha alleged the people involved in the e-tender scam are close to state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the ruling BJP.

In his letter to Rawat, Tankha said, “It is billed as the e-tender scam and involves large-scale manipulation of the online procurement platform of the Madhya Pradesh government to allegedly favour a select few private companies in connivance with officers.”

“E-tenders of the estimated value of more than Rs 30,000 crore had been manipulated during the last four years in the state,” it said.

“The officers who purportedly manipulated the tendering process are perceived to be very close to the ruling party and especially to the Chief Minister,” it said.

In his letter, the Congress leader said that the matter came to light after a damning report was submitted by the Principal Secretary, Manish Rastogi MD of the MP State Electronics Development Corporation exposing the rot on May 5 this year.

“Even Chief Secretary Basant Pratap Singh was shocked by the findings of the report,” it said, adding that he ordered the economic offences wing to file an FIR against the delinquents inter alia for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, fabrication under the Indian Penal Code and for commission of cyber crimes including hacking and manipulation of electronic records under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The Congress leader also alleged that instead of promptly acting on the directions of the Chief Secretary, the state government “slept over the said directions for one month”.

“No effort to register a case or to take action for recovery of digital equipment, including seizing of servers, computers, hard disks, laptops, pen drives etc. was either initiated or attempted, offering ample time to the delinquents to tamper with/destroy evidence,” it said.

The Congress said a preliminary enquiry was ordered only on June 21 by the EOW of the state police.

The Congress also raised the question as to why the Managing Director who blew the lid off the scam was transferred. “Why has there been no punitive action against the beneficiary companies despite an internal inquiry pointing out the names of bidders who emerged as the lowest bidder by compromising e-procurement infrastructure?” it asked.

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Cities

Bengal town tension: ABVP burns Mamata’s effigy

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West Bengal School Violence

Kolkata, Sep 25 : The BJP’s students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Tuesday torched an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and demanded resignation of state education minister in protest against the killing of two students in Islampur last week allegedly in police firing.

It also demanded a CBI probe into the killings.

ABVP activists assembled outside Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral home in north Kolkata’s Simla street and marched to the Dharamtolla crossing, where they were stopped by the police.

Some ABVP workers were allegedly injured when the police tried to disperse the agitators.

The police forcibly dispersed the crowd.

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Politics

Tejashwi mocks Sushil Modi over crime in Bihar

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Tejashwi Yadav

Patna, Sep 25: Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday assailed Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for remarking that criminals should keep off crime during ‘pitri-paksh’ when Hindus pay homage to ancestors through food offerings in Gaya, a holy town in the state.

“Sushil Modi is shamelessly begging before criminals not to commit any crime in the next 15 days. Does he mean that later in the festive season they are free to do whatever they would like to do?” asked Tejashwi, RJD leader and former Deputy Chief Minister.

Two days ago Sushil Modi, who is also a senior BJP leader, appealed to criminals to spare the ‘pitri-paksh’ period from crime. “Other days, you (criminals) do something or the other, but keep away from such activity during the holy period,” he said.

A day after former Mayor of Muzaffarpur and his driver were shot dead by assailants using AK-47, Tejashwi attacked the state government saying AK-47 has become a weapon of choice for criminals in Bihar.

IANS

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