ED website has no information on TN Minister Senthil Balaji's arrest

While the ED has got custody of Balaji, there is also no sign of ED officials till Saturday evening visiting Balaji at Kauvery Hospital.

Published: 18th June 2023 07:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2023 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel posted for security at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, where minister Senthil Balaji has been admitted | P Jawahar

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Four days after the sensational arrest of minister Senthil Balaji after a marathon questioning in the wee hours of Wednesday, Enforcement Directorate (ED) continues to be tight-lipped about the development. It has neither updated its website on the state-wide search as well as the arrest nor tweeted it as the probe agency usually does.

In stark contradiction, the agency was quick to provide a press release last month over attaching various immovable properties in a case linked to Lyca group and Kallal group, and an attachment of Rs 34.7 lakh available in the bank account of Udhayanidhi Stalin Foundation in a money laundering case on its website.

Strangely, in Balaji’s case, it is yet to record the 8-day custody granted to it by the local court. Also, there have been no press conferences in New Delhi, but just some leaks in the media of summons being issued to Balaji’s brother, close aides and relatives. While the ED has got custody of Balaji, there is also no sign of ED officials till Saturday evening visiting Balaji at Kauvery Hospital.

Even after the state government implied that Balaji was tortured by ED officials after forcing him to undergo a 17-hour ordeal in his home before the arrest, the probe agency has remained silent on the allegation. As the state highlighted that Balaji was tortured by officials and is preparing a strong case against the central agency for human rights violations, there has been an uneasy calm over the issue by ED.

Until the agency spills out the truth on what spurred the 2 am arrest, doubts would be placed on the conduct of officials in taking custody of Balaji, against whom the Supreme Court has directed the ED to proceed with investigations.

The case against Balaji pertains to allegations that he had received huge amounts of bribes from various persons for appointing them as drivers and conductors when he was transport minister in the AIADMK government, led by late J Jayalalithaa, between 2011 and 2015.

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