As news of the IT raid spread, the Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran faction started questioning why Jayalalithaa's house was being targeted.

I-T raids at Jayalalithaas Poes Garden residence Sasikala Poongundrans rooms searchedPoongundran with Jayalalithaa. Courtesy: Vikatan
news IT Raids Friday, November 17, 2017 - 22:44

It used to be the seat of power in Tamil Nadu when J Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister. Around 9.30 pm on Friday, three Income Tax officials entered the Veda Nilayam residence of the former CM.

As news of the I-T raid spread, the Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran faction started questioning why Jayalalithaa's house was being targeted.

Sources in the I-T department then told media that the raids were confined to the room that was used as an office by Jayalalithaa's long time personal secretary Poongundran. But later, sources revealed that Sasikala's room in the house too had been searched. This was the first time that Sasikala was directly being probed by the IT department.

Inside the Veda Nilayam house, there is a building adjacent to the main house, which was used by Jayalalithaa's staff. The building is also connected to the main house via a pathway.

Sources told TNM that Poongundran and other staff members had not come to Veda Nilayam in the past few days. The main house has been vacant ever since Sasikala was sentenced by the Supreme Court.

Poongundran had been questioned multiple times by the Income Tax department as searches were going on in more than 180 locations in TN. He had spent hours answering questions from the I-T department.

I-T raids being carried out at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence in Chennai. TNM's Anna Isaac report.

Posted by TheNewsMinute on Friday, 17 November 2017

Around 10.30 pm, Sasikala's nephew Vivek Jayaraman reached the spot. Businesses owned by Vivek and his house had been raided for 5 days by the I-T department. Vivek's mother Ilaivarasi, who is currently in jail serving a sentence in the disproportionate assets case, used to live in Veda Nilayam with Jayalalithaa and Sasikala.

Speaking to media persons outside Veda Nilayam, Sasikala's counsel Rajasendur Pandian said that all of Sasikala's belongings were inside the house, and therefore it was a raid on Sasikala. "We have requested that I should be allowed inside as the counsel of Sasikala to be witness to the proceedings. Vivek Jayaraman is trying hard to get me inside so I can be a witness to the proceedings."

Reacting to the news, sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran tweeted, "EPS and OPS have mortgaged the party to stay in power, how many more betrayals can we expect from them?"

"Whatever the reason behind the I-T raids at Poes Gardens, this is a betrayal to Amma's atma. Edappadi and Panneerselvam are behind this betrayal," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, AIADMK MLA Kalai Rajan accused the BJP of orchestrating the raids. He said, "BJP is behind searches in Amma’s house. Arun Jaitley is behind this conspiracy. Amma’s house is a temple for us."

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