Income Tax officials raided about 10 establishments belonging to various business groups, including three owned by members of the Sasikala family early on Thursday morning, according to multiple reports.
Initial reports suggest that the raids are on in more than 150 locations, including office premises of Jaya TV, Jazz Cinemas and Namadhu MGR, shell companies and other offices and residences. The raids started at 6 30 in the morning. At least 8 officials were seen entering the Jaya TV office this morning, according to reports.
Residences and other offices of Sasikala's nephew Vivek Jayaraman, Vivek's sister house in T Nagar and the Bengaluru residence of AIADMK Karnataka unit head Pugazhenthi are all being raided by I-T. Raids are also on at Mannargudi, the hometown of the Sasikala clan. In Tiruchy, raids are on in a residence owned by Dhinakaran's relative and three other houses.
"We have confirmed information about concealment of income and tax evasion. We have been monitoring the activities of the TV channel as well as its senior officials," a senior I-T official told the Times of India. The raids, according to sources, is part of 'Clean Money' operation.
Jaya TV, started by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 1999 was a mouthpiece of the AIADMK. The operations of the media house has been controlled by the members of the Sasikala family for many years now. Sasikalaâ€™s nephew Vivek Jayaraman, son of Ilavarasi who is also in jail along with Sasikala now, is managing the affairs of the TV channel currently.
File image of Vivek Jayaraman.
Jazz cinemas is also owned and operated by Vivek Jayaraman and other members of the family. It was bought out by the family from the Sathyam Cinemas group amidst rumors of a forceful buyout.
Namadhu MGR is the newsprint mouth piece of the AIADMK, and is also said to be controlled by TTV Dhinakaran.
In August, the merged factions of EPS and OPS had passed a resolution stating that legal procedures will be initiated to retrieve and attach party mouthpieces â€“ Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR.
This is a developing story