CHENNAI: Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption sleuths conducted raids at residences and educational institutions belonging to former DMK minister Veerapandi S Arumugam, his close relatives and aides in Chennai and Salem on Thursday. The raids were conducted following specific information that the former minister for agriculture had accumulated movable and immovable assets disproportionate to his known sources of income between May 13, 2006 and May 13, 2011, DVAC said in a press release.
Arumugam and his relatives have allegedly amassed wealth to the tune of `2,88,45,876 during the period when he was the agriculture minister, according to the DVAC. Following a detailed enquiry, a case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against him on Wednesday. As an essential part of investigation, raids were conducted at 16 places.In Chennai, DVAC sleuths searched the house belonging to his wife A Leela alias Leelavathi at Prabhu Apartments on Thirumoorthy Street in T Nagar and the residence of his son A Prabhu. Another house on Ramakrishna Street in T Nagar was also raided.
The DVAC also raided his son and former minister A Raja alias Rajendran’s houses in Poolavari Agraharam at Morambukadu in Poolavari village, Salem.
A team comprising 15 officials and led by ADSP (DVAC) Shanmuga Priya simultaneously entered the ex-minister’s house also inPoolavari at 7.10 am and emerged at 11.35 am.
Searches were also conducted at his kin T Surya’s house. Houses of N Brindha in RT Nagar, Salem and M Nirmala in Appavoo Nagar, Dharmapuri, were also raided by the DVAC teams.
The VSA Group of Institutions/School of Engineering and School of Management on NH-47 Main Road in Salem and Maheswari Nursery Primary and Higher Secondary School at Nainampatti in Salem district were also searched. Four houses belonging to P Kaushika Boopathy, political asssitant to Veerapandi S Arumugam, in Chennai and Salem were searched. Houses of Parapatty Suresh alias Sureshkumar were also raided.
A raid was also conducted on the house of the former DMK Minister’s second daughter Nirmala Mathivanan on Appavu Nagar 5th Cross Street in Dharmapuri.
The team led by Krishnagiri DSP Ramachandran and Dharmapuri DSP Krishnaraja started the raid at 6 am. After four hours of search, the sleuths seized a bundle of records from the house.
Arumugam said the raids were part of a “series of sham investigations routinely carried out whenever the AIADMK came to power in order to defame DMK leaders.”
Disclosing that the raids were aimed at investigating alleged accumulation of disproportionate wealth, the former minister said he would deal with the charges against him, if any were made out, legally.