The gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu

Missing files: DMK, PMK seek CBI probe

Expressing shock over files containing an Income Tax department report detailing bribes allegedly paid to a minister and top police officers going missing from the Secretariat and the DGP’s office, DMK working president M.K. Stalin on Monday charged that this was a conspiracy to save the accused VIPs. He demanded a CBI probe into the gutkha scandal.

The Hindu on Monday had reported that the classified files were untraceable and an inquiry was on to ascertain how they had gone missing.

In a statement issued here, Mr. Stalin alleged that two senior bureaucrats and a top police officer were responsible for the files going missing. Alleging that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had destroyed governance in the State, Mr. Stalin called for the transfer of the gutkha case to the CBI, the resignation of Mr. Palaniswami and the removal of Mr. Rajendran as the DGP to pave way for a proper investigation.

In a statement, PMK founder S. Ramadoss accused Mr. Palaniswami of attempting to save the accused.

‘It has been erased’

“The evidence didn’t go missing; it has been erased in the Secretariat. The Tamil Nadu police will not be able to do their job if they are to investigate the police officers and the minister. “Only a CBI inquiry can reveal the extent of corruption in this matter,” he said. Pointing to Ms. Vaidyanathan’s affidavit filed before the Madras High Court’s Madurai branch that the State government didn’t receive any report from the I-T department, he said that there was overwhelming evidence that such a report was submitted to the State government and it was duly acknowledged.

“Because the State government knows that it cannot shrug these allegations away, it has decided to create this drama. To show that it is honest, the State government has ordered an internal inquiry (into the missing files). It is not difficult to find the report. The duplicate should be there with the DGP’s office. Or they could directly obtain the original from the I-T department,” said Mr. Ramadoss.

“If documents could be ‘stolen’ from the Secretariat itself, why should the government continue?” he asked.

“DGP Ashok Kumar was sent packing because he tried to take action against the I-T department’s report last year. Additional Commissioner, Central Crime Branch, Arunachalam was transferred for digging into this case deeper and was given an insignificant post. These are some of the examples that show how the ruling party is trying to save the corrupt from the backlash,” he alleged.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:34:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/missing-files-dmk-pmk-seek-cbi-probe/article19348953.ece

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