Income Tax Department On "Chopper Searched" Charge By Trinamool Leader

A report on this matter has been sent to the Election Commission too.

Income Tax Department On 'Chopper Searched' Charge By Trinamool Leader
New Delhi:

As a row erupted over the TMC's claim of a "raid" by income tax officials targeting a helicopter used by party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, I-T department sources claimed on Sunday that there was no enforcement action such as search or survey and the TMC leader wasn't even present in the chopper.

To fulfil its mandate of coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure free and fair elections, a quick response team of the Income Tax department was sent in "a routine manner" to collect information about the arrival of a helicopter at the Behala Flying Club from Malda in West Bengal around 1 pm on Sunday, the sources in the department said.

Information about the arrival of the helicopter was received from the Air Traffic Control, they said adding that after collecting the required information and meeting security personnel and aviation authorities, officials of the department left the place.

The helicopter, they said, was carrying two security personnel only.

Mr Banerjee was not even there, they claimed, adding no enforcement action like a search or survey was intended nor did it happen.

Earlier in the day, in a post on X, the TMC said the chopper was undergoing a trial run at Behala Flying Club for Abhishek Banerjee's visit to Haldia in Purba Medinipur district on Monday when a team of I-T officials arrived and extensively searched it.

The party alleged that this was part of a deliberate ploy by the BJP to harass and intimidate opposition candidates whom they cannot engage with politically.

Mr Banerjee took to 'X' to claim, "Instead of removing the NIA DG and SP, EC and BJP chose to deploy minions from I-T (dept) to search and raid my chopper and security personnel today, resulting in no findings."

However, the Income Tax department sources said the Election Commission mandates coordination between the law enforcement agencies to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

It is as per this mandate that the Income Tax Department collects or shares information from/with various law enforcement agencies like RBI, customs, air traffic control and other authorities or persons to help in conducting free and fair elections in the country, the sources said.

They said a report on this matter has been sent to the Election Commission too.

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