BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Forest Department has issued a notice to Ashwin Sharma, an alleged aide of Chief Minister Kamal Nath's former OSD Praveen Kakkad, from whose house animal hides and trophies were reportedly seized during the Income Tax searches, officials said.
The state police also registered a case against Sharma after arms and liquor bottles were seized from his premises during the two-day searches that ended on Monday evening.
"We have served a notice on Ashwin Sharma, which is in compliance with the directives of the Election Commission (EC). The directives were issued on the basis of information regarding the seizure of animal hides and trophies from Sharma's residence by the I-T Department," Bhopal Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), H S Mishra, said on Wednesday.
However, Sharma is yet to furnish the documents about the seizure of hides and trophies, he added. "Sharma said that he has nothing to say as of now, and would reply later," Mishra said. Mishra said six hides and trophies, including that of a tiger, deer, blackbuck and sambar, were seized by the I-T team.
Meanwhile, the state police has booked Sharma under the Excise Act and the Arms Act after the seizure of arms and liquor bottles.
"We have registered a case against Sharma under the Excise Act and the Arms Act. He violated the Arms Act as he did not deposit the licensed arms to the police station concerned after the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections came into force," Sampat Upadhyay, Superintendent of Police (SP), Bhopal South, said.
Police also registered a case against his relative, Pratik Joshi, under the Excise Act for possession of liquor. T T Nagar Police Station in-charge, Virendra Chouhan, said that five licensed arms were seized from the residence of Sharma, while total 68 liquor bottles were seized from his and Joshi's houses.
The premises of Joshi, located next to Sharma's residence in Platinum Plaza Apartment of Bhopal, were also raided by the I-T department.
The department had launched pre-dawn raids at 52 locations on Sunday on people linked to Kamal Nath.
The searches are linked to suspected movement of hawala money during the ongoing polls season and tax evasion.
The I-T Department Monday said it has detected a "widespread and well-organised" racket of collection of unaccounted cash of about Rs 281 crore during raids against the close aides of Nath and others.
It said the sleuths have recovered Rs 14.6 crore of "unaccounted" cash and seized diaries and computer files of suspect payments made between Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.