Central Probe Agency Hits Back Day After Cops Search Its Tamil Nadu Office

DMK and other political parties opposed to BJP have long accused it of using central investigative agencies, like the Enforcement Directorate, to harass rivals, particularly before elections.

Central Probe Agency Hits Back Day After Cops Search Its Tamil Nadu Office
New Delhi:

The Enforcement Directorate on Sunday filed a complaint with Tamil Nadu top cop Shankar Jiwal accusing state vigilance officers of trespassing on its zonal office in Madurai and stealing case records.

The complaint comes after police on Friday arrested an official for allegedly extorting Rs 20 lakh in cash from a state government official. As part of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption's investigation, cops searched the accused's office in the Enforcement Directorate's Madurai bureau.

Those searches took place on Saturday too, and a DVAC statement said "incriminating documents" were seized. The ongoing inquiry, the cops said, will also check if the accused ran similar scams earlier.

The DVAC is Tamil Nadu Police's anti-corruption wing.

READ | Tamil Nadu Cops Search Central Agency Offices In Rs 3 Crore Bribe Case

Meanwhile the arrest of the agency officer - identified as Enforcement Officer Ankit Tiwari - has triggered a spat between the BJP that is in power at the centre and the DMK that controls the state.

The DMK and other political parties opposed to the BJP have long accused it of using central investigative agencies, like the Enforcement Directorate, to harass rivals, particularly before elections.

With reference to those claims, DMK MP Kanimozhi today said "... ours is not a vindictive operation".

"Strict action will be taken against wrongdoers. Unlike the BJP... which uses central agencies to target opposition leaders... ours is not vindictive. Action is being taken to uphold justice..." she said.

The BJP, meanwhile, has said it is unfair to blame the agency for an individual's action.

"Yesterday DVAC arrested one person from ED... earlier too many were caught and arrested from agencies... in states like Bengal and Delhi. Recently, a similar incident happened in Rajasthan. (But) we can't blame the ED for a single individual's mistake..." the party's state boss, K Annamalai, said.

Action against Mr Tiwari came on the day DMK mouthpiece Murasoli accused the BJP of using the central agency to malign its image. The Tamil Nadu party is fighting Enforcement Directorate summons to five state officials linked to an Rs 4,500 crore money laundering probe linked to illegal sand mining.

The newspaper questioned the corruption claim and challenged the basis of the "arbitrary" figure.

However, in a moment of relief for Chief Minister MK Stalin's administration, the Madras High Court this week stayed the summons for three weeks. It did not, though, stay the probe.

NDTV is now available on WhatsApp channels. Click on the link to get all the latest updates from NDTV on your chat.

.