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I-T raids at premises linked to businessmen in Chhattisgarh; Congress takes dig at Centre


RAIPUR: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday conducted raids at multiple locations linked to some businessmen in Chhattisgarh, police officials said.

The searches are underway since early this morning in different districts including Raipur and Raigarh.

Police officials in these districts confirmed that the IT teams assisted by the Central police force are present at the premises, including offices, of some steel and coal traders and civil contractors.

The nature of the action being carried out by the I-T department is not yet clear, they said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel told reporters at the Raipur airport that he had already predicted raids by the Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

"I had said (that raids will happen)… now ED will also follow them," Baghel said when asked about the action by the IT department.

Last week, Baghel had said his "well-wishers" informed him that Chhattisgarh will soon see raids by the ED and IT because MLAs of the ruling UPA coalition from neighbouring Jharkhand were staying at a resort near Raipur.

The legislators of the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition had stayed in the resort for six days before they were flown back to Ranchi on Sunday.

Commenting on the raids, Chhattisgarh Congress communication wing's chief Sushil Anand Shukla alleged the Modi government has been misusing the Central probe agencies.

"There are reports that raids are being carried out by I-T at the premises of some businessmen. The way the Modi government is misusing Central investigation agencies, a slogan 'kednra sarkar ke teen jamai (sons-in-law), ED, IT, and CBI' has become common among people," he said.

Shukla alleged the Modi government has misused the Central agencies against its political opponents so much in the last eight years that even when I-T conducts raids as part of the routine investigation it is also seen as a politically motivated exercise.

In June-July this year, the I-T department raided several places in Chhattisgarh including the premises of coal trader Suryakant Tiwari and the house of a government official posted at the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).