Sasikala, kin blamed for IT raids in Poes Garden

Jaya TV managing director Vivek Jayaraman near Poes Garden residence in the city on late Friday evening

Days after raids at Jaya TV, income tax officials landed at former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence in Chennai on Friday evening. "It pains us that there has been a raid at Jayalalithaa's house which we consider as a temple and the state government was in the process of converting it into a memorial", he said.

Deepa added the IT officials did not inform her about the Friday night raid.

Dinakaran, nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala, also alleged that chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam would go to any extent to safeguard their position and that they were instigating the central government.

Claiming that the people are by their side and the "traitors" will be taught a lesson, Dinakaran said the raids are insulting to Jayalalithaa. The IT sleuths are said to have received information that electronic storage devices were present at Poes Garden and that they were secretly being transferred to some other place.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters here on Saturday, Samathuva Makkal Katchi President Sarathkumar said the raids have hurt the feelings of AIADMK workers. "When Jayalalithaa was in the hospital, Modi never visited her".

Sasikala and her family and business associates are under scanner for suspect tax evasion and money laundering.

Another member of Dhinakaran's rebel faction, VP Kalairanjan, called it a "political vendetta and targeting of one family".

The Chief Minister conceded it was a painful development. He also wondered what had happened to the raids at former Chief Secretary Rammohan Rao, contractor Sekar Reddy and some Ministers earlier this year.

Dinakaran's outburst came barely hours after investigators completed an hours-long search at Veda Nilayam, the iconic residence of Jayalalithaa in the capital's upscale Poes Garden locality.

On Friday night, IT officials recovered a laptop, a desktop and four pen drives from two rooms used by Sasikala at Jayalalithaa's residence here, said a senior official. "We are not scared and we will not run away", Dhinakaran said.

The raids, according to officials, were part of raids at Jaya TV and family members of sidelined jailed AIADMK party leader Sasikala.

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