Police file case against Vellore DMK candidate

Police file case against Vellore DMK candidate

Kathir Anand

Tamil Nadu Police on Wednesday filed an FIR against Kathir Anand, DMK’s Lok Sabha candidate from Vellore in northern Tamil Nadu and son of party treasurer Durai Murugan, and two others in connection with Income Tax raids conducted recently.

Nearly Rs 11 crore was seized from a cement godown purportedly owned by those close to Durai Murugan during Income Tax raids that were conducted from March 29 to April 1 in Vellore and surrounding areas. The Income Tax department has submitted a report regarding the seizures to the Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu who has forwarded it to the Election Commission of India.

With filing of case against Kathir Anand, speculation mounted on Wednesday whether elections will be held in Vellore as scheduled or countermanded.

Tamil Nadu witnessed rescinding of Assembly elections thrice in 2016 and 2017 – elections to Thanjavur and Aravakurichi and by-elections to R K Nagar constituency – due to allegations of rampant use of money power.  

While the FIR was filed against Kathir Anand under the Representation of People Act for giving "wrong information" in his poll affidavit filed along with his nomination papers, another case has been filed against two others, identified as Srinivasan and Damodaran, on "bribery" charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Durai Murugan and DMK president M K Stalin had condemned I-T raids in Vellore calling it as an act of vendetta politics by the BJP and AIADMK governments. Durai Murugan, on his part, has refuted allegations that the money seized belonged to him or his aides.

Asked to comment on the issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo told reporters that the ECI would take a decision on the next course of action on conduct of elections in Vellore.

"An FIR has been lodged. The Income Tax department has given some information too. We will share a report to the ECI (on the matter) and it will take further action," he said.