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Lalu puts up brave front amid IT raids

Lalu said that he was "not scared at all" and will continue to fight against the "fascist forces"

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad. Photo: PTI
Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad. Photo: PTI

The department on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys on at least 22 locations in and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to RJD chief and others. The department, officials said, is set to slap in this case provisions of the newly-enacted Benami Transactions Act, 1988, which became operational from November 1 last year and carries a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine. The action under this new will be over and above the legal proceedings under the Act, 1961, which is mandated to check charges of domestic evasion. Officials said that the department began raiding the premises of some prominent businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurgaon, Rewari and few others. In the capital, department teams visited posh localities in New Friends Colony, Sainik Farms and few farmhouses in Bijwasan and south areas. department officials added that some of the properties allegedly belong to the kin of in a 'benami' way. Prasad, however, sought to put up a brave front amid the department's raids saying he was "not scared at all" and will continue to fight against the "fascist forces". "BJP mein himmat nahi hai ki Lalu ki awaz ko daba sake... Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge... Main gidarbhabhki se nahi darne wala hoon (BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice...

If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalu will come forward. I am not scared of empty threats)," he said in a series of tweets. The IT officials said the searches are also being conducted at the premises of the son of RJD MP P C Gupta and few other businessmen involved in the purchase and sale of real estate assets. While raids are being conducted at a dozen locations, 10 other official premises have been brought under the survey procedure which mandates I-T officials to scan only business premises, they said. Some documents and computer hardware have been seized till now from the premises under search, the officials said. "People and businessmen connected to the land deal involving and his family are being searched. There are allegations of benami deals worth about Rs 1,000 crore and subsequent evasion," a senior official claimed. A team of about 100 department officials and police personnel are conducting the raids, the official said. The BJP had last week accused Prasad, his MP-daughter Misa Bharti and his two sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap, both Bihar government ministers, of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the central government to probe one such transaction in Union minister had alleged that these transactions were a case of "quid pro quo" as they date back to the period when Lalu was the railway minister, and dared Bihar to take action against him. Lalu's RJD is a constituent of Bihar's ruling coalition led by Kumar. Lalu's official residence was the address of the owners of the firms allegedly floated by his family members, had said. Several suspect land deals took place in Bihar, he said, wondering if Kumar would invoke a special enacted by his government in which assets acquired through illicit money are confiscated in this instance. "The politics of has become politics of loot. Land worth crores of rupees were grabbed for a pittance," he had said, adding that one such land deal involving Lalu and his family members is in Bijwasan in "We expect the central government to take appropriate action," had said. All the companies owned by Lalu's family members for the purpose of these land transactions had no employees, no business activities and no turnover, he had claimed. Bihar's biggest shopping mall spread over 7.5 lakh sq ft is coming up in Patna as part of such dubious transactions, he had alleged at a news conference held.

First Published: Tue, May 16 2017. 18:32 IST