Need CBI probe into gutka scam: Opposition

CHENNAI: Opposition parties, including DMK and PMK, on Tuesday reacted sharply to the FIR in gutkha scam that has named 17 middle-level officials belonging to various departments and questioned why health minister C. Vijayabhaskar and top police officers have not been named though an I-T probe allegedly found evidence against them.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss and party MP Anbumani Ramadoss demanded a CBI probe into the issue since the state police cannot be “trusted as many police officials have been involved in the case.” The DMK, which raised the issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly more than once demanding resignation of Vijayabhaskar, also accused the state government of “protecting the bigwigs” and naming “insignificant” people in the FIR.

“Seventeen officers belonging to police, food safety department, Chennai corporation and commercial taxes department have been named in the FIR. None of these people has the powers to allow sale of gutka illegally. All these people have just helped health minister C. Vijayabhaskar and two senior IPS officers who served as Chennai police commissioner who allowed illegal sale of gutka,” PMK founder S. Ramadoss said in a statement.

He also recalled recovery of a diary by the I-T department that allegedly had the names of the ministers and two police officers. The diary said a total of Rs 39.91 crore was given as bribe to various officials,” Ramadoss said, demanding a detailed probe by the CBI. DMK deputy floor leader in the Assembly Durai Murugan said the party has been demanding sacking of the minister and officials involved ever since the scam came to light. “We raised the issue in the Assembly demanding a detailed discussion and our working president M. K. Stalin has been vociferous in demanding resignation of Vijayabhaskar,” he said.

He also accused the DVAC of “hiding the truth” by booking “insignificant people” in the case whereas the “influential and those involved” have been left out.   PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss also spoke in the same vein demanding a CBI probe to “bring out the truth” in the scam. “Since top police officers are involved in the issue, state police investigation will not bring out the truth. We need a CBI probe into the issue,” he said.

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