Bhopal: Raids by income-tax (I-T) sleuths in houses and business establishments of high-profile people, including a Congress leader, liquor merchants and real estate barons and bureaucrats at several places in Chhattisgarh rattled the corridors of power on Thursday.
The raids, conducted by 500 I-T officers and 200 Central paramilitary forces from Delhi, began at about 6am and were continuing early on Friday.
Sources said I-T wings of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were kept out of the operations.
The ‘targets’ included Raipur mayor Ejaz Dhebar, former chief secretary and chairman of Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) Vivek Dhand, kin of senior IAS officer Anil Tuteja, Meenakshi, liquor baron Amlok Singh, promoter of a nursing home A. Farista, chartered accountants Sanjay Sancheti and Kamlesh Jain, promoter of a local TV channel Guru Charan Singh Hora and Chhattisgarh State Beverage Corporation managing director Arun Tripathy. Dhand was among half-a-dozen IAS officers of Chhattisgarh, currently facing charges of misappropriation of government funds to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore allocated for the welfare of physically-handicapped people.
Tuteja was an accused in an alleged mega-scam in Chhattisgarh food and civil supply corporation, which surfaced during the previous Raman Singh government’s tenure. Some CA firms were raided on suspicion of helping high-profile people in the state to evade tax, IT sources said. Raids were simultaneously conducted in establishments of some Chhattisgarh-based businessmen at Betul, Bhopal, and Hosangabad in Madhya Pradesh.
Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee president and MLA Mohan Markam, however, tried to downplay the issue saying that the people whose houses were raided were close to the power during the previous government.