I-T raids on houses of Ramesh Jarkiholi, brother

I-T raids on houses of Ramesh Jarkiholi, brother

The politically powerful Jarkiholi family woke up to a shock on Thursday as the Income Tax (I-T) Department conducted simultaneous raids on the residences of Small Scale Industries Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and his brother Lakhan at Gokak.

A separate team also raided the residence of KPCC women’s wing president Laxmi Hebbalkar at Kuvempu Nagar here.

The I-T department officials, with police protection, entered the residences of Ramesh Jarkiholi, Lakhan and their close associates Hussainsab Mulla and Ali Akthar. The raids were still on at the time of filing this report.

A source said raids were carried out as there were discrepancies in the returns filed by Ramesh Jarkiholi, Laxmi and their associates. Recently, after the demonetisation exercise, Ramesh Jarkiholi hosted a lavish wedding for his son, which drew severe criticism.

Transactions made post demonetisation by Ramesh Jarkiholi and Laxmi, sugar factory works of the KPCC women’s wing chief and some property interests at Karikatti village in Savadatti taluk, too, came under the scanner.

A source said the I-T department teams arrived here on Wednesday evening from Bengaluru and Hubballi.

There are three MLAs in the Jarkiholi family – Ramesh and Satish (Cong), and Balachandra (BJP). While Ramesh Jarkiholi has won four times from Gokak, Lakhan is yet to test electoral waters. Laxmi has unsuccessfully contested the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Another source said transactions in Harsha Sugars Limited, in which Laxmi is a director, was on the I-T department radar. The company was incorporated in August 2014 and had taken a huge loan from Apex Bank.

The source said part of the loan amount was diverted for other purposes and this attracted the attention of the I-T department. The other directors are: Channaraj Basavaraj Hattiholi, Mohammedali Usamansab Attar and Robert Monis.The I-T sleuths also searched the company’s office in Hanuman Nagar here.

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