Officials tight lipped on outcome

In connection with the red sand quarry scam, in which former Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy, his son Gowthama Sigamani and others were named, the police personnel conducted raids on at least 11 premises at places such as Chennai, Villupuram and Puducherry on Monday.

Mr. Ponmudy was arrested on October 6 on the charges of the alleged irregularities committed in the red sand quarry allotted to his son and others when he was holding the Mines and Mineral portfolio.

The allottees had been reportedly over exploiting the resources, thereby causing losses to the tune of Rs. 28.37 crore to the State exchequer.

Mr. Ponmudy was initially lodged in the Cuddalore Central Prison and later shifted to the Tiruchi jail. A couple of days ago the police took Mr. Ponmudy into custody for interrogation.

As fallout, the personnel conducted raids at seven places in Villupuram, two in Chennai and two at Puducherry today. When the sleuths went to the house of Mr. Ponmudy, located on the East Shanmugapuram in Villupuram, in the morning it was locked.

However, after his wife Visalakshi returned from Chennai in the afternoon the house was opened for inspection. The personnel spread out to places such as Sudhagar Nagar, Pattarai Street, Nannadu, Ganapathi Nagar and Kanya Kulam Road in Villupuram, and also to Puducherry and Saidapet to carry out the raids.

The premises of Balu, a retired tahsildar, and, that of Selvaraj, a personal assistant to Mr. Ponmudy, who were not named in the case, too had come under scrutiny.

The personnel remained tight lipped on whether they chanced upon any incriminating documents or not.

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