The Income Tax Department launched searches on the premises of SPK Group, one of the major road contractors in Tamil Nadu, that has establishments in Chennai, Madurai and Aruppukottai, sources in the investigating agency said on Monday.

The searches, triggered by a specific input of huge tax evasion, commenced early on Monday at about 30 locations. Preliminary information revealed that investigators were seeking clarification on cash and documents recovered from the premises of the company which is also into hotel business, the sources said.

After perusing documents seized in the searches and specific information, a team of investigators rushed to a major construction firm that had its offices in Tiruchi, Chennai and other places. The role of the management which owes allegiance to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is being probed, the sources said.

Senior Income Tax officials could not be contacted for further information on the operation that is considered significant considering the nexus of the contractor with political bigwigs in the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Government. The Highways Department is among the portfolios held by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The searches come days after the Income Tax Department conducted raids on the premises of Christy Friedgram Pvt Ltd. company, which is the major supplier of food grains and eggs to the nutritious meal programme of the Government of Tamil Nadu that reaches out to lakhs of poor children. Huge cash and large scale documents relating to immovable properties acquired across the State were said to have been seized in that operation.

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