The Income Tax Department on Wednesday raided Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Ramamohan Rao’s home in Chennai’s Anna Nagar neighbourhood as well as his office at the state Secretariat, ANI reported. Five officials from the department searched the house, and Rao is also being questioned, according to The Financial Express.
Officials also conducted searches at the homes of Rao’s relatives and seven other locations, NDTV reported. The chief secretary, who was appointed to his post in June, allegedly has close links with Shekhar Reddy, one of the businessmen from whom officials seized at least Rs 90 crore in cash and 100 kilograms of gold in raids at eight locations in Chennai on December 8.
Reddy, a sand mining baron, is also a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Trust. He had reportedly visited Apollo hospital to offer the temple’s prasad to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on October 12, when she was undergoing treatment before she died on December 5.
While the Tamil Nadu Police was deployed outside Rao’s house in the morning, it is now being guarded by Central Reserve Police Force personnel at the request of the I-T Department. However, the paramilitary forces were deployed without the state government first being informed, The Hindu reported.
Later, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the raid “vindictive, unethical and technically improper”, The Economic Times reported. “Earlier, the principal secretary of Arvind Kejriwal was raided and harassed,” she said. “Now I read that the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu has also been raided...Is it only to disturb the federal structure? Why don’t they raid Amit Shah and others who are collecting money?”