The Income Tax (I-T) Department early on Wednesday claimed to have seized cash amounting to Rs 1.48 crore from the premises of an AMMK functionary in Andipatti in Theni district.
The IT officials began their search late on Tuesday that ended at 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, an official said. He claimed that the unaccounted cash amounted to Rs 1.48 crore. “This cash was neatly packed in 94 packets/envelops on which the ward number, number of voters and the amount of Rs 300 per voter was written. All these wards are within Andipatti Assembly segment which is going to bypoll tomorrow (Thursday),” the IT official said.
The premises belongs to a functionary of AMMK party. In fact, the AMMK party office is functioning in the ground floor, he added. According to the IT official, a person present at the premises in a sworn statement said Rs 2 crore in cash was brought in there for distribution to voters in Andipatti panchayat union area on April 16.
Initially a group of party workers overpowered the flying squad persons standing guard outside the premises, broke open the door and snatched some cash packets. Police had to fire warning shots that prompted the miscreants to flee with a few cash packets, but they also dropping some of them.
All the remaining cash in 94 bundles (Rs 1.48 crore) was seized along with the envelopes, the IT official added. A postal ballot paper for Andipatti Assembly by-election which was already marked for AMMK candidate was also found in the premises and was seized, the officer claimed.
The District Collector and Superindentent of Police reached the spot and supervised the security. The police has filed an FIR against a number of persons. Meanwhile, IT officials and Election Commission’s static surveillance team on Tuesday night also searched the residence of Rajya Sabha member and DMK leader Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi on receipt of an information.
The search team left empty handed apologising to Kanimozhi as the information turned out to be wrong.