I-T Dept. conducts large-scale searches in Karnataka, including Minister’s residence

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The operation came hours after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy publicly claimed “vindictive I-T raids” against the JD(S) and the Congress were in the offing.

The Income Tax (I-T) Department has launched a large-scale search and seizure operation in Karnataka against multiple people linked to the ruling Janata Dal (Secular), including Minor Irrigation Minister C.S. Puttaraju, a key man of the party in Mandya.

The operation came hours after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy publicly claimed that “vindictive I-T raids” against the JD(S) and the Congress were in the offing. He also threatened to launch a protest like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over ”misuse” of institutions by the Union government.

The Chief Minister’s statement only advanced the I-T action by several hours, sources said. The raids began on Wednesday late night first at the residence of Siddiqui Sait, a jowar trader closely associated with the JD(S).

The I-T action soon panned out to several locations and targets. Search operations were on in over 20 places in Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru and Hassan, the sources said.

The I-T raids are being carried out with security provided by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), not taking security from the State police as is the practice.

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