The Income Tax Investigation department seized Rs 13 crore from the premises of the politically well-connected Bangaru Adigala running educational institutions in the state.
Sixteen IT teams raided the Adhiparasakthi group of educational institutions bel onging to Bangaru Adigalar, his four residences and trust offices in Melmaruvathur, as part of a state-wide operation. The searches that started at 11.30 am on Friday lasted till 4 am on Saturday.
Cash totalling Rs 9 crore was seized from Adigalar’s house alone. “We found the cash in his bedroom,” said a top IT official, who was part of the team. A search of the trust offices yielded a further Rs 3 crore and Rs 40 lakh was seized from his son Anbazhagan’s house. Gold jewellery was also found in the premises. He and his family were grilled for hours.
“The institutions in Melmaruvathur were under surveillance for the last two to three months,” the official said. The raids were prompted by allegations of exorbitant capitation fees: “between Rs 20-30 lakh”.
The sleuths secured receipts for the capitation fees and also found evidence of unaccounted expenditure. “The faculty were paid in cash, which was not being accounted,” the IT official said, adding that the searches had been temporarily halted.
SBI sleuths also conducted searches in the offices and seized some documents.
At Melmaruvathur, temple inmates assaulted members of the media and destroyed their equipment. The Tamil Nadu Union of Journalists, Chennai Union of Journalists and Chennai Press Club condemned the attack. – The New Indian Express, Chennai
In the raids of professional colleges across the state, I-T sleuths have exposed several bigwigs making a killing out of education
It is perhaps the biggest swoop by taxmen on the best-known universities and professional colleges across Tamil Nadu.
That the whip has been cracked against some of the big politicians in the state, who have been making millions peddling education as well, makes things more intriguing.
“With the state elections barely a year away, this action seems strange as the ruling party and its ally Congress could earn the displeasure of some segments of the electorate. But it could send positive signals among the public that the governments at the Centre and in the state are acting dispassionately to book the corrupt,” said a former vice-chancellor, requesting anonymity.
Heading the list of high-profile institutions that have come under I-T scanner is Adhiparasakthi Charitable Medical Educational and Cultural Trust headed by famous godman Bangaru Adigalar. The former schoolteacher has been reigning as the almighty Shakthi to thousands of followers, mostly BCs and the MBCs in the state. Amma, as he is reverentially referred to by devotees, has many influential followers in political and business circles, so it was surprising that the sleuths managed to grill him till the early hours of Saturday.
As of now, 102 kg of gold and `incriminating’ documents relating to acquisition of properties in many places have been seized from the Adigalar family.
“The family is in control of the trust. There is clear circumvention of the trust rules that 85 per cent of the donations should be spent on charities and the rest used for buying properties but only in the name of the trust. In this case, purchases were in the names of trust members,” said an I-T official.
Another bigwig who under the scanner is former MP and MLA A.C. Shanmugam, whose MGR Deemed University at Maduravoyal was raided.
Taxmen knocked on the doors of M. Jothiprakasam aka Leo Muthu, who is the sambandi of DMK heavyweight T.R. Baalu. – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai
Subramanian Swamy condemns raid on Melmaruvathur Adigalar
CHENNAI: Janata party president Subramanian Swamy has condemned the recent Income Tax raids carried out on the residences and institutions of Melmaruvathur Adigalar and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issue a public apology to Adigalar and return the seized items along with a compensation of Rs 10 crore for the anguish caused to his followers.
“If it is not done, all MPs from TN should tender their resignation from the parliament in protest,” he said in a statement here and added that he would move the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha to take this matter to the level of an agitation throughout the country.
Swamy said that the wealth found on Adigalar’s premises during the ‘illegal raid’ constituted donations from the public and that it did not qualify for a criminal offence for which I-T raids could be conducted according to the I-T Act. – The New Indian Express, Chennai, July 13, 2010
- Other links to this news item
- Anbazhagan son of Adigalar Bangaru at Golden Temple
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