Political Connections Unveiled as I-T Sleuths Seize More Cash in Crackdown on Odisha Liquor Distillery

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In the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to the public that money taken from them unlawfully would be returned, the Income Tax (I-T) Department has escalated its actions against a liquor distillery group in Odisha. Substantial amounts of cash have been seized, generating considerable attention and speculation.

A day after Modi’s assurance, the I-T Department intensified its crackdown on the liquor distillery group in Odisha, having already recovered about Rs 225 crore by Friday. On Saturday, an additional 20 bagloads of cash were seized from the residence of a countrymade liquor manufacturer in Sudapara, Bolangir district, with estimates suggesting the total could surpass Rs 50 crore.

The ongoing raids, conducted by 150 officials, have targeted manufacturing units and premises associated with Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies, one of the leading countrymade liquor manufacturers in western Odisha. Raids have been carried out in various locations, including Sambalpur, Rourkela, Bolangir, Sundargarh, and Bhubaneswar.

The seized money is currently being counted at two State Bank of India (SBI) branches in Sambalpur and Bolangir. The counting process, primarily involving Rs 500 denomination notes, has encountered challenges, prompting the use of note-counting machines from various banks to streamline the process.

To verify digital documents recovered during the raids, the I-T Department has enlisted an additional 20 officials from Hyderabad. This move underscores the complexity of the investigation and the need to scrutinize a range of documents to build a comprehensive case against the liquor distillery group.

The targeted group, particularly Boudh Distillery Private Limited (BDPL), a subsidiary of Baldeo Sahu Infra Private Limited, is allegedly linked to a Congress Member of Parliament from Jharkhand, adding a political dimension to the raids and further intensifying scrutiny on the operations of the liquor distillery group.

Reacting to the ongoing raids, Prime Minister Modi shared a news report on the operation and emphasized the need for accountability. In a social media post, he stated, “Countrymen should look at these piles of currency notes and then hear the speeches of its (Congress) leaders on honesty. Every penny looted from people will have to be returned. This is Modi’s guarantee.”

As the investigation unfolds, the nation anticipates further developments and the outcome of the probe into this significant case.

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