Finance Law & Justice

I-T raids in MP: How taxmen hired local taxis to keep operation a secret

Keeping the crackdown a highly secret mission, income-tax officers hired private vehicles from tour operators in Indore.

The state machinery was completely in the dark when I-T officers hired dozens of vehicles from several tour operators and set off in the pre-dawn hours. A travel operator from Indore, who rented vehicles to the raiding team, said, “I got bookings for eight ‘Travellers’ but did not know who was hiring our vehicles. I came to know that my vehicles are being used in the raid only after I was told that all the drivers and vehicles shall be released only after raids are over.”

According to the travel operator, someone posing as a customer enquired about the vehicles and booked 8 SUVs for the entire day for a drive “within city limits”, but did not give any further details.

Tax officials went to great extents to maintain secrecy. Many vehicles bearing registration numbers of Rajasthan and Punjab were used in the raids. Occupants of the posh residential societies, where some of the houses were raided, were equally clueless. It being a Sunday, many were not aware of what was going on within their society until forenoon when they stepped out and saw armed CRPF men and cavalcades.

The center of attraction was the Scheme Number 74 bungalow of Praveen Kakkar, where paramilitary personnel, carrying AK47s, were deployed to avoid any untoward situation. An array of vehicles was parked outside his house, including Dial 100 and several private taxis in which the raiding teams had arrived. Taxi drivers were barred from stepping out of the house. In addition to residences of Kakkar in Scheme Number 74, Shalimar Township and BCM Heights other places associated with aides of Kakkar such as a hotel in Vijay Nagar, the office of a chartered accountant and a shopping complex were raided on Sunday. At Shalimar Township cops from Lasudia thana were deployed from early morning to keep an eye on law and order. A heavy force was deployed at BCM heights and Jalsa Garden to stop the entry of people towards the offices.


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