BENGALURU: The Anti-Corruption Bureau in Karnataka on Tuesday conducted simultaneous raids at five places belonging to Congress MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan following a report of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on disproportionate assets.
According to ACB officials, the searches were carried out at his residence near the Cantonment Railway station, a flat in Silver Oak Apartments, a guest house at Sadashivanagar, G K Associates office at Banashankari and National Travels office in Kalasipalya here.
"Multiple teams of the ACB have been involved in the raids since this morning. The ACB teams are verifying the documents and the investigation is on," an ACB official said.
Khan, a four-time MLA, had served as the food and civil supplies minister in the H D Kumaraswamy government for over a year from 2018 to 2019.
In August last year, the ED raided the house of Khan and another former minister R Roshan Baig's residence, allegedly in connection with the IMA Ponzi scheme worth Rs 4,000 crore in which thousands of people, mostly Muslims, were duped of their hard-earned money.
Khan, the MLA from Chamarajpet constituency in the city, had appeared before the ED multiple times.
The Congress claimed that the raid was an attempt to divert public attention from the police sub-inspectors recruitment scam in which Additional Director General of Police Amrit Paul, who was heading the recruitment division when large-scale irregularities took place, has been arrested.
"I feel the raids were carried out to divert public attention because the ACB is under the control of the Chief Minister. There is no connection between the ACB and the Enforcement Directorate," former chief minister and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah told reporters.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai termed the ACB raids a "continuous process". "The ACB raids are a continuous process. The ACB works on the basis of information and evidence. The raid has happened in the backdrop of a High Court order for probing the pending cases," Bommai told reporters.
As a large number of Congress workers staged a demonstration near Khan's residence at Bamboo Bazaar protesting against the raids, Bommai said causing obstruction to discharge the duty and giving the raid a political colour is a "common feature and a Congress culture".
"They (Congress leaders) will speak about everything else except the case. There will not be any obstruction for the officials to discharge their duties," he said.