Officials of the Income Tax Department on Friday night searched offices in the premises of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s home in Poes Garden, Chennai.
The investigators searched her former assistant S Poongudran’s room but not her home, The Times of India reported. According to other reports, rooms used by Jayalalithaa’s jailed aide Sasikala and records rooms were also searched. Sasikala has been in prison since February after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
The department had sought permission before conducting the searches.
Several All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam workers protested the searches, and the police detained some agitators. Security has been increased in the area and the road has been closed off.
“Whatever might have been the reason, the raids on Poes Garden where Amma Lived gives immense pain,” party legislator V Maitreyan told The Hindu. “As far as I am concerned, Amma’s residence is a temple,” he said.
Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran objected to the raids and criticised the state leadership for it. “These were the people who said they will convert the house into a public memorial, and are now allowing this (raids) to happen,” he said, referring to Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. “The two will have to answer to the people of the State”.
Last week’s searches were connected to several high value deposits allegedly made and rerouted through different companies in the months after demonetisation, Income Tax officials in Chennai had earlier told Scroll.in. They are also connected to dubious investments, fund flow and fudging of accounts. More than 140 residential and business premises linked to Sasikala and her family members were searched.