Chennai, May 29 (BPNS)
The Income Tax department is continuing its raids at the premises of the acquaintances of the Tamil Nadu Electricity, Excise, and Prohibition Minister Senthil Balaji for the fourth consecutive day on Monday.
The raids are being held with protection from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) after some cadres close to the minister had assaulted officers of the Income Tax department. Four officers of the department including a woman officer are admitted at Karur Government Medical College hospital in the attack. Nine people were arrested and remanded in judicial custody over the assault on the Income Tax officials.
Regional Director (Investigation) of the Income Tax department, K. Sivasankaran has said that the department would not be cowed down by the assault on officers and would move ahead with the duty.
The Income Tax department is conducting raids and searches at several places linked to the associates of the minister including his brother Ashok Kumar. There were reports of the state liquor corporation, Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation(Tasmac) staff charging ten to twenty rupees extra per bottle in the outlets and that a part of this money was being transferred to the associates of the minister. The opposition AIADMK and BJP had alleged that Senthil Balaji was involved in the hike in prices in Tasmac shops and that a part of the proceedings was received by the associates of the minister.
The ‘Karur Gang’ indicating the minister and his associates are allegedly involved in each and every transaction in Tasmac.
With Senthil Balaji also in charge of Electricity, there were reports of malpractices in some power purchase agreements.