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CBI Raids Raja's Residence, Key Aide Taken In For Questioning

PTI 08 Dec 2010, 20:37:04 IST
Chennai, Dec 8: CBI sleuths today swooped down on the residences of aides and relatives of former Telecom Minister A Raja across Tamil Nadu and picked up one of his associates for questioning, as part of its probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Sadiq Basha, a key aide of Raja, was taken in for questioning by CBI officials, who came from Delhi, even as the DMK leader's residence at native Perambalur was raided in connection with the alleged scam that forced Raja's exit.

Bank details were sought from Basha and others, CBI sources said.

CBI officials raided the premises of Raja's relatives, including his brother and sister, in Chennai and Sri Rangam and Tiruvanaikaval in Tiruchirappalli district.

The residential premises of Raja at his native village Velur in Perambalur, his erstwhile Lok Sabha constituency, and the office of a trust run by his family in the district also came under the CBI scanner.

Income Tax officials also raided the premises of Basha, sources said.

Meanwhile, intensifying her attack AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa said Raja's mere resignation "won't end the imbroglio" and inquiries should go beyond estimating the loss suffered by the nation.

"In the case of Raja and the spectrum scam, (DMK president and Chief Minister) M Karunanidhi knows that the place of crime is Delhi and not some place in Tamil Nadu. The complainants and witnesses cannot be coerced into turning hostile," she said.

Jayalalithaa said a "sense of helplessness" was driving the DMK patriarch into making "desperate statements," in an apparent reference to his stout defence of the Dalit face of DMK saying Raja was being targeted for being a Dalit.

Karunanidhi, among others, had also said that Raja cannot be termed culprit until a complete probe was undertaken.

The CBI today said it had seized "incriminating" documents during searches at 14 places, including former Telecom Minister A Raja's residence, in connection with its probe into the 2G spectrum scam.

According to CBI, the searches were conducted at the premises of Raja, his former personal secretary R K Chandolia, the then Secretary of Department of Telecommunication Siddhartha Behuria and the then Member, Telecom Commission, Department of Telecommunication K Sridhar.

The premises of the then Deputy Director General, Access Service Wing, Department of Telecommunication A K Srivastava and Managing Director of Chennai-based export firm (Greenhouse Exports) Sadiqui Batcha were also searched in ongoing investigation relating to irregularities in allotment of Unified Access Service (UAS) Licence, a CBI official said.

"Searches conducted so far at around 14 places have yielded recovery of incriminating documents," Deputy Inspector General and spokesperson of CBI Vineeta Thakur said, adding that "searches are still going on".

The CBI had earlier registered a case on October 21, 2009 against unknown officials of Department of Telecommunication and unknown private persons or companies and others under Section of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

"It has been alleged that there had been serious irregularities in the award of Unified Access Services Licences to private companies. PTI