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Raid on Sasikala kin: Search ends, I-T preps to continue probe further

Officials to proceed to examination of documents and recording of statements

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

sasikala, AIADMK

Search operations initiated by the income tax (I-T) department on the premises of the jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala's family members, their companies and business associates were temporarily concluded, said a senior official from the I-T dept.

The searches had begun on November 9 and probe would enter the next stage of investigation as officials begin scanning documents and recording statements of those suspected to be involved in hiding unaccounted wealth. 

"The search part is almost over and only the documents are to be examined and confronted with the assets. For everything else that needs to be examined still, we have issued prohibitory orders and it (probe) will be resumed in due time," said an I-T official on conditions of anonymity.

The department has seized documents and materials, details of which will not be disclosed as of now, he added. While there have been reports that the search has unearthed around Rs 1,200 crore in various accounts, apart from discovering other assets such as gold and precious jewellery from various parts of the state, officials said they would refrain from sharing exacts details of the crackdown.

Around 1,800 tax sleuths searched almost 187 premises across the country on November 9. The premises searched include rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran's farmhouse in Puducherry, the residence of Sasikala's husband Natarajan, apart from the other houses owned by the jailed AIADMK leader's relatives and party functionaries. Offices of Jaya TV- a channel which has been acting as the mouthpiece of AIADMK- and Namadhu MGR- a newspaper with a sympathetic eye for Sasikala's party- were also raided.    

Both- Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR- are currently managed by the faction of the party, Jazz Cinemas, Midas Distilleries and others, as reported earlier. Searches were also held in Kodanad Estate, which was earlier owned by the state's former chief minister, J Jayalalithaa.

He said that the search is being conducted related to both and transactions following Centre's demonetisation drive that began on November 8, 2016.

Dhinakaran, on Thursday, came down heavily on the central and state governments, accusing the ruling governments of working out a political vendetta against his family by targeting them through such attacks. On Saturday, Dhinakaran thanked the regional political parties who chimed in to say the I-T were politically motivated. The Opposition party leader M K Stalin, who is also the working president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), had previously questioned as to why there was no action on the conducted earlier that involved other leaders from the ruling AIADMK and other parties.

BJP's local leadership has, however, refuted such allegations claiming the party had a hand in conducting the against its rivals. 

First Published: Sun, November 12 2017. 17:01 IST