Chetan Bhagat lashes out at subverters of Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive, from banks to account holders

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New Delhi | Published: December 12, 2016 1:44:17 PM

Celebrated author Chetan Bhagat on Monday lashed out at 'bankers', 'middlemen' and 'account holders' for allegedly subverting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move.

Celebrated author Chetan Bhagat on Monday lashed out at 'bankers', 'middlemen' and 'account holders' for allegedly subverting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move. (Indian Express Photo)Celebrated author Chetan Bhagat on Monday lashed out at ‘bankers’, ‘middlemen’ and ‘account holders’ for allegedly subverting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move. (Indian Express Photo)

Celebrated author Chetan Bhagat on Monday lashed out at ‘bankers’, ‘middlemen’ and ‘account holders’ for allegedly subverting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move. He also said that “there no hero-villain good-bad story in India/ black money. Anyone who gets a chance, is happy to go bad. Like bank branch staff this time.” His remarks came amid a series of raids conducted by law enforcement agencies during which thousands of crores of rupees of unaccounted money have been unearthed. In a series of tweets he not only supported PM Narendra Modi’s much-debated move but also flayed the detractors for questioning the economic reform. “Demonetization has been done with a good intent. Hope we can reap some of the intended benefits from it. How are crores of new currency notes so readily available in every town for black money old-new swap at a mere 11% commission? Hearing from several places old to new money swap, at 11% commission. Sad. Middlemen, bankers, account holders all subverted demonetisation,” Bhagat wrote on the micr-blogging site. Venting his anger at bankers, he said, “It’s not about a couple of bad guys at a few banks. It’s systemic. There is a rampant, competitive old/new market. Raids can’t capture.”

Here are a few tweets:

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been conducting nationwide raids to tighten the noose on money exchangers who are allegedly depositing unaccounted scrapped notes into banks with the help of bank executives. As per reports, the ED has successfully seized around one crore scrapped notes (Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes) during the raids along with Rs 20 lakh new notes. Earlier, in a major crackdown, the Enforcement Directorate has raided 50 banks on suspicion of hawala transactions and money laundering, ANI quoting sources reported on Wednesday.

The Income Tax department on Friday raided an Axis Bank account in Central Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and reportedly found out about 44 fake accounts. According to NDTV, I-T officials said that about Rs 100 crore in old notes had been deposited in the accounts since November 8, the date of the announcement of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an objective to curb down the flow of black money in the country. According to reports, a sum total of Rs 450 crores have been deposited in the Chandni Chowk Branch of the Axis Bank since the ban was announced, I-T officials told NDTV.

The officials said that these 44 fake accounts had been created by the usage of forged documents. they said that the investigators suspected that the money might have been routed to buy gold. This is the second such raid to have been reported at a branch of Axis Bank. Earlier last month, I-T officials had nabbed two people with Rs 3.5 crores of cash in new currency notes while they tried to come out of the Kashmere Gate branch in Central Delhi.

Rohit Tandon, a Delhi lawyer was caught by the Income Tax authorities for a third time with a hoard of unaccounted cash, stashed in bundles of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as well as new Rs 2000 notes with him, totalling at least Rs 13.48 crore. According to a TOI report, a joint team of the I-T department and Delhi police’s crime branch found cabinets and secret chests at Tandon’s office in GK-1 area filled with notes on Sunday. Several cartons containing cash were also found. The police said Tandon had gone underground. Search is on for him.

This is not the first raid by the I-T department. The first raid was conducted on on October 7 and the I-T department made a stunning haul of Rs 125 crore. The second being two weeks ago and yielding Rs 19 crore in unaccounted income. I-T officials are surprised at how Tandon managed to collect Rs 2.61 crore in the new currency. The first raid came within a week of the Income Disclosure Scheme coming to an end. After the first two searches, Tandon had declared Rs 144 crore in unaccounted income. With Sunday’s seizure, the total unaccounted income recovered from the lawyer has touched Rs 157 crore.

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