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I-T raids in benami land deal linked to Lalu

I-T raids in benami land deal linked to Lalu
The Income Tax department on Tuesday conducted raids and surveys in at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and others.

Officials said the department began raiding the premises of some prominent businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurgaon, Rewari and few others since early morning.

The searches are also being conducted at the premises of the son of RJD MP P C Gupta and few other businessmen.

While raids are being conducted at a dozen locations, ten other official premises are being surveyed by the I-T department, they said.

"People and businessmen connected to the land deal involving Lalu Prasad and his family are being searched.

There are allegations of benami deals worth about Rs 1,000 crore and subsequent tax evasion," a senior official said.

A team of about 100 tax department officials and police personnel are conducting the raids, they said.

The BJP had last week accused Prasad, his MP-daughter Misa Bharti and his two sons, both Bihar government ministers, of being involved in corrupt land deals worth over Rs 1,000 crore, and asked the central government to probe one such transaction in Delhi.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had alleged that these transactions were a case of quid pro quo as they date back to the period when Lalu Prasad was the railway minister and dared Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against him.

We expect the central government to take appropriate action, Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad sought to put up a brave front, saying he was "not scared at all" and will continue to fight against the "fascist forces".

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday spoke for the first time on the allegations of "shady" land deals on Lalu Prasad and his family saying if the BJP has documents to back the charges it should move the court.
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