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I-T raids premises of capital contractor
Contractor Paras Kumar’s Morabadi residence that was raided on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh

Ranchi, Feb. 17: Income-tax officials today raided the residential premises and offices of three persons, including a high-profile contractor and a former deputy collector, in Ranchi, Deoghar, Begusarai, Patna, Delhi and Bangalore.

Sources in the department said that the sleuths had chanced upon unaccounted assets worth lakhs at the residences and offices of contractor Paras Kumar, former deputy collector (land reforms) Devnish Kiro and owner of a private construction firm Ram Kripal Singh.

According to sources, property documents were unearthed from four flats in Bangalore and one in Gurgaon. An amount of Rs 30 lakh, besides bank accounts and a locker belonging to Ram Kripal were also found. The sleuths chanced upon Rs 35 lakh in cash, two bank lockers and a company registered in the name of Kumar’s wife. An amount of Rs 10 lakh was found in a flat belonging to Kiro at Shukla Colony, Ranchi.

Kumar, posted till recently in Deoghar, has considerable clout in the Rural Engineering Organisation (REO). He is known to be close to many political leaders. Kiro, who was the deputy collector (land reforms) till recently, also has friends in the political circle.

Ram Kripal’s Singh Private Construction Limited is a well-known firm. Currently, it is engaged in several projects, including revamp of the Booty Road, and building the new district collectorate and the Birsa Stadium in Morabadi.

Talking to The Telegraph after the morning raids, an employee of the firm offered a face-saver. “All our dealings are with the government. So, all payments are by cheques and the tax is deducted at source. We are surprised at these raids. The I-T sleuths probably want to ascertain where investments have been made instead of finding out whether we are amassing wealth,” he said, requesting anonymity.

When contacted, director (investigation) S.D. Jha confirmed the raids, but refused to give details, saying the raids were still on and the seizure lists were not available.

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