Officials of the Income-Tax Department began searches on several premises in Erode, Namakkal, and Coimbatore on Wednesday.
The official began the search at an educational institution on Erode-Perundurai Road. Sources said that over 30 officials, split into various teams, began the search at 18 schools and colleges, located at Vaikalmedu, Koorapalayam Pirivu and at Sampath Nagar. All these institutions come under Nandha Educational Institutions run by founder-chairman V. Shanmugan.
Further, a two-member team comprising over 15 Income-Tax officials began searches at the residence and the office of a contractor in Namakkal.
V. Sathya Moorthy, an engineer who runs a private construction company, is involved in constructing housing board tenements in various districts and has also executed projects for Public Works Department and a few other departments. His company is also constructing the Namakkal Medical College and Hospital, for which the foundation was laid in March this year. Officials commenced the raid at 11 a.m. at his residence in Surya Garden and at his office in Kandasamy Nagar.
In Coimbatore, a team of six officials conducted searches at the residence of R. Krishnan, also known as “Paiya” Gounder, at Kalapatti. He is in-charge of the DMK's Coimbatore urban district west unit. DMK cadre gathered in front of the house and raised slogans against the I-T officials, following which the police spoke to them. According to unconfirmed information, he is said to have business associations with the Nandha group of institutions.
The DMK’s Singanallur MLA N. Karthik said the raids at the residence of ‘Paiya’ Gounder was a planned, vindictive move by the BJP and AIADMK governments. The raids target DMK leaders, including MP S. Jagathrakshakan. Despite these moves, the DMK will win the 2021 Assembly elections and M.K. Stalin will be the Chief Minister, he said.