Attempt to intimidate, he says; I-T dept. claims it found links to Nirav Modi case

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav has alleged that his sisters’ hospital and nursing home in Rewari, Haryana were raided by the Income Tax department on Wednesday morning in an attempt to intimidate him, and silence his agitation on behalf of farmers.

The I-T department confirmed the searches and said it has so far recovered about ₹20 lakh in cash from two properties associated with Mr. Yadav’s family members, and has “found evidence” of links to the Nirav Modi bank fraud case.

“We have searched the two premises, and we have found some links with the Nirav Modi case because some family members [of Yogendra Yadav] have made certain purchases for which payments in cash have been made,” the I-T department spokesperson told The Hindu. “We found evidence of that. We have also found evidence of unaccounted income. About ₹20 lakh of cash has been discovered till now and we are investigating further.”

“This is ridiculous, to allege any connection to Nirav Modi,” Mr. Yadav told The Hindu. While stating that he did not have any direct involvement in the hospitals, he said his sisters had gone out of their way to pay all taxes, and be accountable, to the extent that their donations to him and his party were done through transparent online methods.

Nine-day padayatra

“This raid comes just 48 hours after my nine-day padayatra ended in Rewari, and I announced an agitation on MSP (minimum support prices for crops) and against liquor thekas (vends),” said Mr. Yadav. “It is a clear attempt at political intimidation, but I will not be silenced… The PM is so rattled by the farmers’ issue because he knows it can cost him elections.”

Mr. Yadav said the raid began at 11 a.m. and was still ongoing as of Wednesday evening. A raid team of more than 100 people was involved and came in vehicles bearing Delhi number plates, he said, adding: “This is not local. The decision to raid came from the very top.”

The Kalawati Hospital and Kamla Nursing Home, owned and run by Mr. Yadav’s two sisters and their families, specialise in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology. According to their website, they have a 15-bed neonatal intensive care unit and a six-bed paediatric ICU.

“They have sealed the premises, which include an ICU for newborns, and confined all the doctors within chambers,” said Mr. Yadav.

On Twitter, Mr. Yadav alleged: “Modi regime now targets my family…[Please] search me, my home, why target my family?"

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