CHENNAI: Rattling the corridors of power in Tamil Nadu, Income Tax officials paid a surprise visit to the Chief Secretary in the wee hours of Wednesday, conducting raids at multiple premises including his office at the State Secretariat. Officials told Express that cash and gold were seized, but maintained that they were yet to ascertain whether this was unaccounted.
The operation that began before day break continued till night at 14 places in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, at premises belonging to Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, his son, relatives and son’s business contacts among other places.
Official sources told Express that the move came after obtaining the nod from the Centre to proceed against the official.
Sources added that officials from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority are also under the scanner in what is believed to be connected to the ongoing investigations against sand mining baron J Shekhar Reddy, who was arrested and remanded in custody by a CBI court in Chennai in the evening for allegedly possessing over `130 crore in cash and 177 kg gold bars.
Information about the raids spread only at around 9 am, four hours after the officials reached the Chief Secretary’s Anna Nagar residence. Going all the way to ensure that information about the raid was not leaked before they set out and also because the move was against the top bureaucrat, the IT department decided not to seek the assistance of State police. Instead, it was the CRPF who accompanied officials.
Sources revealed that similar operations were on several places in Chennai including Anna Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur and Manapakkam among other places, belonging to his son, kin and their business contacts. Meanwhile in Chittoor, IT officials raided the residence of DK Badrinarayana, said to be related to Rama Mohana Rao by marriage.