Highly placed sources in the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department told PTI that the raids were carried out.
Income tax sleuths Saturday conducted searches at the residence of senior DMK leader Duraimurugan at Katpadi in Vellore district over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering. This comes days after tax raids led to a political storm in neighbouring Karnataka.
The tax officials along with personnel from the election flying squad arrived late last night at the residence of the DMK treasurer and conducted searches early on Saturday morning. Highly placed sources in the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department told PTI that the raids were carried out. They indicated that the searches were carried out to detect suspected tax evasion vis-a-vis use of unaccounted money for electioneering.
Tamil Nadu: Officials of IT dept have been conducting a raid since last night at the residence of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan, at Katpadi in Vellore. Kingston Engineering College & Durai Murugan B.Ed. college in Katpadi are also being raided. pic.twitter.com/m2XyOdzlYa
— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2019
The DMK has fielded Duraimurugan’s son, D M Kathir Anand, from the Vellore seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Details like if unaccounted money was unearthed were not immediately known. Duraimurugan alleged that the raids were a “conspiracy” by some political leaders who could not face them in the electoral arena. “They (tax officials) have gone with the understanding that we have nothing (to hide),” he told reporters.
The DMK leader also questioned the timing of the raid. “This is not the time to hold searches, be it tax or other authorities, when we are in the midst of full-fledged election campaign,” he said. The tax sleuths had carried out pre-dawn raids at 15 to 20 locations in Karnataka, including Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Ramanagar and Shivamogga, on Thursday.
Karnataka Minor Irrigation minister C S Puttaraju and his nephew and close associates of PWD minister H D Revanna were among those whose residences were raided. Later, Congress and JD(S) leaders led by Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and former chief minister Siddaramaiah had staged a demonstration in Bengaluru against the raids.