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ED demands FIR against Tamil Nadu anti-corruption officials, alleges they stole sensitive documents
Chennai: The regional office of the Enforcement Directorate in Madurai has written to Tamil Nadu's Director General of Police, seeking the registration of an FIR against those Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department officials of the state government who searched its premises this week.
Brijesh Beniwal, working as an assistant director at Sub-Zonal Office of Enforcement Directorate, Madurai, through the letter to the top police officer, alleged that the anti-corruption officials illegally conducted a search by barging into the ED office and stole sensitive documents.
In a petition to Tamil Nadu DGP Shankar Jiwal, the ED sought registration of a case against the anti-corruption team and others alleging that the searches were not only illegal but mala fide.
The central agency accused Tamil Nadu anti-corruption officials of "stealing various sensitive case records" and illegally accessing various case records and taking copies in mobile or other electronic media which could jeopardise the investigation.
Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) officials on Friday afternoon began searches at the Enforcement Directorate sub-zonal office in Madurai after arresting ED officer Ankit Tiwari in connection with a bribery case and seized several incriminating documents, officials had said.
Tiwari, a 2016-batch officer currently posted in Madurai was caught "red-handed" while accepting a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from a doctor in the Dindigul district of the state on Friday. The ED officer was arrested after being chased on the Dindigul-Madurai highway for several kilometres.
Coming back to the ED official's letter to the Tamil Nadu top cop, it alleged that as many as 35 persons, in civil dress claiming to be police persons, along with media and a mob forcefully entered the ED office.
"When we asked their identity card and purpose of visit, they were simply reluctant to provide any identity cards and barged in. Only one Mr M Sathyaseelan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, V&AC, Madurai Department has given his introduction. No search warrant whatsoever was shown. The so-called police persons were not in uniform and were without badge," the ED official's letter read.
"Thereafter these 35 persons continuously remained in the office of Enforcement Directorate, Madurai from 2:30 pm of 1st December, 2023 to 7:15 am of 2nd December, 2023. Time and again, we have questioned the presence of so many persons, and repeatedly sought for copy of FIR, search authorisation, identity and authorisation of the so many persons present, however, our request simply fell on deaf ears," the letter read.
Those individuals, the ED official alleged, opened even those case files which has no relation to the alleged case for which the search was ordered; Ankit Tiwari's room was intermittently locked during the search; they ransacked the ED office, besides giving out information.