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Excise policy scam: BRS leader Kavitha arrested in Hyderabad; party alleges violation

The Enforcement Directorate had claimed that Kavitha was linked to a 'South Group' lobby of liquor traders who were trying to play a larger role under the now scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22

PTI New Delhi Published 15.03.24, 08:23 PM
BRS MLC K Kavitha after she was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from her residence in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case, in Hyderabad.

BRS MLC K Kavitha after she was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from her residence in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case, in Hyderabad. PTI picture.

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday arrested BRS leader K Kavitha in Hyderabad and is bringing her to Delhi for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the Delhi excise policy scam case, agency sources said.

Agency officials raided the premises of the leader in Hyderabad today morning and later arrested her.

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BRS leader and former Telangana minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy claimed that Kavitha was taken to Delhi on a flight at 8.45 pm.

He alleged that the move was "pre-planned" and that they would protest against it.

BRS working president K T Rama Rao, former minister Harish Rao and a large number of party workers gathered at Kavitha's residence and raised slogans.

The Enforcement Directorate had claimed that Kavitha was linked to a "South Group" lobby of liquor traders who were trying to play a larger role under the now scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.

The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that one of the accused in the case, Vijay Nair, received kickbacks to the tune of at least Rs 100 crore from the "South Group" (allegedly controlled by Sarath Reddy, Kavitha and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy) on behalf of leaders of the AAP.

After the arrest, she was reportedly driven over to the airport amid protest and slogans by her supporters. Police personnel removed her supporters from blocking the vehicle carrying her even as she waved to them.

According to a video shared by BRS, Kavitha's brother and the party’s working president KT Rama Rao was seen arguing with the ED officials saying the agency has violated an undertaking given to the Supreme Court.

“You are in serious trouble,” he was seen telling the officials in the video, which went viral.

In the video he also alleged that the family members were not allowed to enter the house even after the searches were concluded.

“Search is over and an arrest warrant is produced and now she (ED official) says you can’t come in. Family cannot come in and she also says they have no transit warrant and cannot produce before a magistrate, but she wants to make a case,” he said.

Reacting to her arrest, Union Minister for tourism G Kishan Reddy told reporters that ED raids are part of its enquiry into the case.

"She was also avoiding questioning by the ED by showing some reasons. If she’s not guilty and not involved in the liquor case, Kavitha needs to appear before the ED or CBI to prove her innocence," Reddy said.

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