The income Tax sleuths who conducted raids on jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her family’s properties have now landed at former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa’s house.
IT officials searched Veda Nilayam, the residence of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, at Poes Garden in Chennai late on Friday and seized Electronic gadgets, including a laptop, desktop and other storage devices from two rooms used by Sasikala.
After 1996, this is the first time a search is being conducted at the former AIADMK chief's residence.
A senior I-T official told to the Hindu that the raids were based on a tip-off that some persons had conspired to remove crucial evidence such as documents and electronic gadgets from the rooms earlier occupied by Sasikala and the late Chief Minister’s Personal Assistant Poongundram.
Supporters of Saikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran congregated outside the residence and on roads leading to it, shouting slogans against the central government.
Sidelined former deputy general secretary of AIADMK, TTV Dhinakaran, who is at loggerheads with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, tweeted, “On whatever reasons the raids are being conducted at residence of Jayalalithaa, the deed is definitely to save EPS and OPS. Amma’s atma (soul) won’t pardon EPS and OPS.”
Another member of Dhinakaran’s rebel faction, VP Kalairanjan, called it a “political vendetta and targeting of one family.”
Around 10.30 pm, Sasikala's nephew Vivek Jayaraman, who is also the CEO of Jaya TV, reached the spot and tried to enter the bungalow but was stopped by the security men posted outside. Businesses owned by Vivek and his house have also been raided by the I-T department in the last few days.
This comes just a week after the IT official raided on Sasikala’s family members and premises of Jaya TV in Chennai and unearthed an unaccounted income of over Rs 1,400 crore.
The raids on 187 locations that also spanned Bengaluru, Hyderabad and New Delhi were conducted by over 1,000 officials, who split into more than a dozen teams. They were conducted based on inputs, including those from the Finance Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit, reported News 18.