Bargarh: For the first time during the regime of BJD Government, State witnessed raids by Central and State agencies on businessmen ahead of a by-poll.
Central Agency Income Tax (IT) department and State GST teams on Monday raided the houses of businessmen in poll-bound Padampur of Bargarh district.
In the morning the IT department officials conducted simultaneous raids on the houses of Md Sajid of Bahidarpada, Manabhanjan Sahu of Sahupada and Gajanan Agrawal of Badapada areas in Padampur sub-division.
All the three business persons under Income Tax scanner were knonw as supporters of late BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha, whose death necessitated the by-poll. And, the ruling BJD has nominated his daughter Barsha as candidate for the by-poll.
The Central Agency launched the raids early morning under tight security of central police forces. No one has been allowed inside the houses during the raid, sources said.
Even, Mr.Sajid’s advocate Prashant Mohanty was not allowed to visit the resident during the raid.
“I wanted to meet Mr.Sajid for another job. However, they have not allowed me to enter the house. So, we have lodged a written complaint before the Padampur police station.”
Later, the Padampur IIC, sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) and another police official visited the house and discussed with the IT department officials.
“The IT department has placed requisition before us and a lawyer has filed a complaint before us. In this regard we have come here,” Padampur SDPO Bibhuti Bhusan Bhoi told reporters after coming out from the Mr.Sajid’s house.
The reason behind the raids is yet to be ascertained as the IT department has not made any statement till now.
On the other hand, GST officials raided at least seven shops at Padampur, Bargarh, Paikamal and Jharbandh simultaneously.
They raided Jagadamba cloth store, Meenakshi Jewellery and Uddipak Indane at Padampur, Nrusingh petrol pump and Nrusinghnath Medical Store at Paikmal, and Bikash Hardware at Jharbandh. Padampur Town BJP President Sunil Agrawal is the owner of Jagadamba cloth store, sources said.
The raids of IT and GST assume significance as Padampur is going for by-poll on December 5.
Meanwhile, BJD and BJP have indulged in political slugfest over the IT raid.
Senior BJD leader and MLA Sashi Busan Behera said, “The IT raids during the by-election is not acceptable. The IT could have conducted raids at any time, but, unfortunately, they conducted it during the by-polls. It shows the weak point of BJP.”
Reacting to this statement, State BJP General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said the by-poll is on its own way, and the Income Tax is doing its own duty.
“BJD leaders should not oppose the IT raids on businessmen in Padampur as their party chief Naveen Patnaik has always preached ‘law must go its own way’,” said the BJP leader.