Updated: October 9, 2021 2:58:55 am
For the second consecutive day on Friday, officers from the Income Tax (I-T) department continued their search operations at premises linked to the son and three sisters of NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, in Pune and other places. The searches also continued at the premises of owners of sugar mills reportedly linked to Pawar.
The NCP said the raids were “politically motivated”, with many supporters of Pawar taking to the streets to protest them.
On Thursday, separate teams of I-T officers had conducted search operations at an office linked to Parth Pawar, the son of the deputy chief minister, as well his sisters’ residences in Pune and Kolhapur. They also searched the premises of directors of four sugar mills — Ambalika Sugar, Daud Sugar, Pushpadanteshwar and Jerandeshwar — who are known to be supporters of Pawar.
Pawar had termed the raids as unfortunate and claimed they had been conducted with political interests in mind. He said the searches at his sisters’ residences were “beyond comprehension”.
On Friday, as the I-T searches continued under heavy protection of CRPF personnel, Pawar refused to comment. “We have visitors at home, once they go… then we will comment,” he quipped.
The deputy chief minister, who was in Pune to attend the weekly Covid-19 review meeting in the district, also urged his supporters to show restraint.
A senior official in the I-T department said the raids will continue for a few more days.
The mills in question were sold by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank when Pawar was on its board of directors. The Enforcement Directorate had earlier seized the property of Jerandeshwar Mill in Satara, claiming major fraud in the way the mill was sold off by the apex cooperative bank.
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