Raids on Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, son seize Rs 30 lakh in new notes
In order to keep the operation secret, the I-T department sought the assistance of paramilitary forces instead of calling the state police personnel.
The raids which went started yesterday early morning at the residence and office of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, his son Vivek Rao, relatives in Chennai and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh came to end today, after more than 24 hours.
According to the reports, tax officials said Rs 30 lakh in new Rs 2,000 notes,5 kg gold and documents with details of undisclosed assets worth about Rs 5 crore were recovered during the raids carried out at 11 places. Some other reports said that Rs 33 crore in new currency have been recovered from 13 places. The official details are awaited.
It is to be noted that raids began at 5:30am on Wednesday, when a team of IT officials Rao’s residence in Anna Nagar. In order to keep the operation secret, the I-T department sought the assistance of paramilitary forces instead of calling the state police personnel.
Raids were also carried out at the houses of Rao’s son in Thiruvanmiyur and daughter in Manapakkam, near the Chennai international airport. At around 2:30 pm, I-T sleuths reached Rao’s office at the State Secretariat where they carried out searches for five hours, till about 7:30 pm. It has been reported that Vivek has admitted to 5 crore undisclosed income.
However, the other raids went on till night.
A large part of the cash and gold seized were recovered from Vivek’s house and his in-laws’ residence in Chittoor. Sources said multiple cellphones, SIM cards and several documents were seized from Rao’s office.
According to earlier reports this month, taxmen found over 177 kg gold, Rs. 96 crore in banned 500- and 1,000-rupee notes and Rs. 34 crore in new currency notes in raids at the homes of three Tamil Nadu businessmen, one of whom, J Sekhar Reddy, allegedly has business links with the Rao's son. Reddy was arrested on Wednesday.
In the light of this, reports have quoted sources saying that documents found at Reddy's house may have led to the raids yesterday.
In the political world, Opposition parties have demanded Rao’s immediate dismissal. Stating that the raids were a disgrace for the state, DMK leader M K Stalin said Rao should resign immediately. He also demanded a statement from Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on the issue.
CPI(M) state secretary G R Ramakrishnan demanded Rao’s dismissal and sought a high-level probe against him. PMK founder S Ramadoss also sought legal action against Rao.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and few AAP fellows have opposed the raids, claiming it to be a political conspiracy of BJP-led Centre.