Tamil Nadu

Veeramani’s properties searched

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) conducted searches at 28 places, including properties belonging to former Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration K.C. Veeramani, in Chennai, Ranipet, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Krishnagiri and his native place Tirupattur. The search operation is still on.

Searches are also being carried out in houses and properties of two brothers of Mr. Veeramani in Jolarpet. Fourteen places are under the scanner, sources said.

A native of Edaiyampatti village in Jolarpet town, Mr. Veeramani lived in the village with his brothers K.C. Alazhagiri and K.C. Kamaraj. Together, they have been handling their father’s beedi business, K.K. Chinnarasu & Co., for several years. Mr. Veeramani also runs a tipper lorry transport business, Akalya Transports, in the town. The details were recorded in an FIR filed against him by the DVAC.

Case registered

The DVAC sleuths have registered a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act. In the FIR, the DVAC has said that while serving as a Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration, Mr. Veeramani intentionally enriched himself illicitly and acquired assets worth ₹28.7 crore, which works out to be 654% of his total income.

In Vellore, searches are being carried out at houses of the former Minister’s associates in Sathuvachari, on the Bengaluru Highway (NH-48), and Senbakkam in the town. Further, DVAC officials have also been searching the Palar Agricultural College near Gudiyatham in Vellore. Searches are also being conducted at houses belonging to Mr. Veeramani’s father-in-law in Polar town of Tiruvannamalai and in Hosur in Krishnagiri district. In Chennai too, searches are being held in places related to the former Minister and his associates, the police said.

Meanwhile, a large number of AIADMK cadre and supporters of Mr. Veeramani raised slogans against the police and the DMK, especially in Jolarpet. They tried to remove barricades placed on key routes towards Mr. Veeramani’s residence in Jolarpet. In the melee, a few police personnel and AIADMK cadre pushed each other.

‘Govt. enacting drama’

The AIADMK accused the DMK government of staging a “drama” at the time of elections to rural local bodies in nine districts, by carrying out DVAC searches at the properties of Mr. Veeramani, his relatives and friends.

In a statement, party coordinator O. Paneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami said a “huge resentment” towards the DMK had arisen among the people of the State in the light of the ruling party not having fulfilled many promises made during the Assembly election. To “change the disaffection” of the people, the government was filing “false cases” against former Ministers and other functionaries of the party, the statement read.

Mr. Veeramani is the third former Minister on whose properties the authorities have conducted searches, after M.R. Vijayabhaskar and S.P. Velumani. Besides, the latest action has been done to “spoil the political activity” of workers in districts where the ruling party is apprehensive of losing in the local bodies’ elections, the statement said. “Political observers and the public view the searches at Mr. Veeramani’s residence as an act of vengeance,” they said, adding that the party workers would not subjugate themselves to such “intimidating actions”.

Declaring that the party was prepared to contest in the local bodies’ polls, the AIADMK leaders called upon the DMK government to face the election in a democratic way.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 9:36:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/veeramanis-properties-searched/article36507305.ece

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