The Income Tax Department has seized approximately 5 crore cash during raids at former Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara’s residence and his educational institutions among other areas in Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Doddaballapura, officials said on Friday. The searches across 25 locations are underway.
On Thursday, the I-T officials held searches at properties belonging to Parameshwara and former minister R L Jalappa’s son J L Rajendra and Jalappa’s nephew G H Nagaraj in connection with alleged irregularities in admissions to colleges owned by the two senior Congress leaders in south Karnataka.
Raids were held across various campuses of Siddhartha Group of Institutions in Tumkur region, which includes a well-known medical college, owned by a trust operated by Parameshwara.
Searches were also conducted at the residence of the former deputy CM. Officials also searched the premises of J L Rajendra, who runs the R L Jalappa Institute of Technology at Doddaballapura and Kolar in the state.
“At least Rs 5 crore cash has been seized till now from the various premises that were searched on Thursday. The raids are conducted in connection with tax evasion while collecting fees from students for admission to these colleges,” officials said.
More than 300 I-T sleuths are involved in the raid. Officials also searched the residence of Parameshwara’s brother G Shivaprasad and his personal assistant Ramesh.
In Chikkaballapur, searches and seizure operations were held at Prashanthnagar residence of G H Nagaraj. Nagaraj is Jalappa’s nephew and secretary of R L Jalappa Hospital & Research Centre, Kolar. He is one of the aspirants for a Congress ticket to contest in the bypoll from Chikkaballapur Assembly constituency.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders in Karnataka termed the I-T action as “politically motivated”. “The I-T raids on Dr Parameshwara, RL Jalappa and others are politically motivated with mala fide intention. They are only targeting Congress leaders,” former chief minister Siddaramaiah said.
“They are trying to terrorise Congress leaders,” former Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge said.