DMK workers held for assaulting tax officials who raided minister Senthil Balaji’s brother

DMK workers held for assaulting tax officials who raided minister Senthil Balaji’s brother

By India Today News Desk: Police in Tamil Nadu’s Karur arrested several functionaries of the ruling DMK for allegedly roughing up Income Tax officials tasked with searching premises linked to V Ashok, brother of minister V Senthil Balaji.

Nine people, including a DMK Councillor, were booked on Sunday for manhandling tax officials and preventing them from doing their duty, reported news agency ANI. The action comes based on a complaint by four I-T officials, who were reportedly injured in the attack.

DMK workers had confronted the I-T team and stopped them from searching a property belonging to electricity minister V Senthil Balaji and his brother Ashok in Karur and damaged their vehicle, after the central agency launched coordinated searches at around 40 premises linked to the two last Friday.

Close relatives of the minister and some contractors were among those whose premises were being searched by the tax authorities. The searches were held in various locations in Karur, Erode and Coimbatore at the premises of individuals linked to Balaji.

In the wake of the raids, the ruling DMK in the state accused the BJP of using central agencies such as the I-T to “avenge” opposition parties.

A four-time MLA since 2006, Balaji also holds the Prohibition and Excise portfolio. Speaking to reporters, he had denied reports he was also being raided.

“There were no raids on my premises. Even if so, I am ready to face them. Such raids are not new to us as similar action was taken during the last phase of the campaigning for the (2021) Assembly polls… In most places where the searches were held, the individuals are already paying tax; they are not tax evaders,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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