Rs 290 has been seized so far; more are being counted
In what is likely India's biggest cash recovery in income tax raids, at least Rs 290 crore in hard cash has been recovered so far during raids in three states since yesterday.
Sources said the sum will rise as more cash is yet to be counted and officials have got intelligence about more locations where cash has been hidden.
The tax department raided the offices of an Odisha-based distillery in the state, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
Tax department sources said up to seven rooms across the three locations and nine lockers are yet to be checked. The cash was found stuffed inside cupboards and other furniture. They said they have got information about other places where more cash and jewellery may be found.
Today, the raids are being conducted at Boudh Distillery and offices linked to it; Baldev Sahu Infra, a group company of Boudh Distillery, and a rice milled owned by the same distillery.
Crores of rupees were also recovered from Congress MP Dheeraj Kumar Sahu's properties in Jharkhand.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday assured people that the money looted from the public will be returned.
"The countrymen should look at the pile of these notes and then listen to the honest 'speeches' of their leaders... Whatever has been looted from the public, every penny will have to be returned, this is Modi's guarantee," PM Modi posted on X, formerly Twitter.
The Odisha unit of BJP at a press conference demanded a CBI probe into the matter and sought clarification from the ruling BJD.
BJP spokesperson Manoj Mohapatra also showed some photos of a woman minister from Odisha's western region sharing the dais with one of the liquor traders on whose premises the raids were being conducted.
The BJP spokesperson said this tax evasion could not have been possible without the active support and patronage of local leaders and the state government.
"What were Odisha's excise department, vigilance wing, intelligence wing and economic offence wing doing in the state?" the BJP leader asked.