The Income Tax Department on Sunday conducted raids at the Indore home of Praveen Kakkad, an officer on special duty to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, PTI reported, quoting unidentified officials. Raids were also conducted at other locations related to Kakkad.
The searches began around 3 am. Documents seized during the searches are being scrutinised in detail, officials told the news agency.
Kakkad is a former Madhya Pradesh police officer, who was appointed the officer on special duty to Nath after the Congress-led government came to power in the state in December.
Similar searches by income tax officials are underway at 50 locations, which include those in Bhopal, Goa and Delhi too, according to ANI. Premises related to Nath’s nephew and businessman Ratul Puri were also searched. The officers searched the premises of executives linked to Nath’s brother-in-law Deepak Puri’s firm Moser Baer.
The home of Nath’s former advisor Rajendra Kumar Miglani in Delhi was also searched in a hawala case, NDTV reported. Rs 9 crore were found during the searches, sources told the news channel.
Searches are also being conducted against Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha, PTI reported.
The Enforcement Directorate had on Thursday questioned Ratul Puri in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper scam. The agency had informed a Delhi court on Wednesday that Puri had been summoned for interrogation and to confront him with Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged middleman in the case who has been arrested. However, Puri denied any involvement with the case.
The opposition party used these searches to criticise the BJP. “Investigative agencies are being misused. All this is happening during election time,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said, according to ANI. “Has any agency gone to BJP to investigate how crores of money are being spent? There’s no CBI, Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate for them.”
Some reports said the central officials and the state police entered into an argument outside the house of Ashwin Sharma, who is Kakkad’s associate.
“We have nothing to do with Income Tax and the ongoing raids,” Bhupinder Singh, Police Superintendent of Bhopal, told ANI. “It’s a residential complex, there are people inside who need medical assistance and they are calling the local SHO for help. They have closed the entire complex because of the raids.”
CRPF official Pradeep Kumar alleged that the Madhya Pradesh Police were not letting them work and were hurling abuses at them. “We’re only following orders of our seniors,” he said. “Seniors have asked us to not let anybody in. Proceedings are on, that’s why we’re not letting anybody in.”