I-T 'raid' on priest’s house in Hassan

I-T 'raid' on priest’s house in Hassan

Income Tax officials conducted a raid on the house of Shiva temple priest, at former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s native Haradanahalli, in Holenarasipur taluk, on Friday.

A team of I-T sleuths swooped down on the house of Prakash Bhat around 12 noon. However, the team did not find any document or cash in the house and searched the temple premises, but in vain, said sources.

Haradanahalli Eshwara is said to the family deity of JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda and family. According to locals, the family members offer prayers at the temple before beginning any auspicious ceremony, including elections. The I-T officials, who suspect that the party might have kept cash at the priest’s house or at the temple to be distributed among voters during the election, conducted the raid, said sources.

Reacting to the raid, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy said in Kunigal that the raid team did not find anything and returned empty handed.

However, the Income-Tax department dismissed the allegations in a release, stating "no such search/checking/verification of any sort has been done by the I-T department in Karnataka." The release went on to blame 'reputed media houses' for spreading such unfounded stories.