The Income Tax department in Chennai on Wednesday reportedly recovered Rs. 90-100 crore in cash, including Rs. 10 crore in new Rs. 2000 currency notes, and 100 kg gold from several businessmen. The total worth of the gold is pitted to be at Rs. 28 crore, according to news reports.
But here is what’s raising eyebrows: one of the businessmen, Shekar Reddy, is reportedly a member of the Tirupathi Devasthanam board, and is being linked to Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam and another top bureaucrat of the state.
A picture of Shekar Reddy along with O Panneerselvam during one of his previous visits to Tirupathi is now doing the rounds. The image was reportedly taken in 2014.
Shekar Reddy is said to be involved in sand-quarrying business in Tamil Nadu and had connections to the top echelons of the government. He is also reported to be civil works contractor in Chennai and Vellore.
“I-T sources said Mr Reddy is the suspected benami of a top IAS official at Fort St George in Tamil Nadu and he is known as Isuka (sand) Sekhar in the sand mining circles. I-T sleuths raided eight premises in Chennai and Vellore since Thursday morning and unearthed Rs 100 crore in cash.
J. Sekhar Reddy, 47, hails from Thondan Thualsi village near Katpadi in Vellore district. He was a small-time contractor laying cement and village roads. He managed to get some railway contracts through the railway union. He used to meet MLAs to get tenders for work from their constituency development fund.”
"Reddy is also a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) board in Tirupati. “He started his business career as a civil contractor. He was also involved in the sand-quarry business and had bagged some contracts from Southern Railways. But he was denied a seat from Vellore in the last general elections by Amma,” the AIADMK functionary claimed."
The IT department has carried out raids in eight different locations in Chennai and Vellore, and have summoned several bankers for enquiry.