Massive tax raids at Sasikala-Dinakaran kin, associates, premises (Third Lead)

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Searches were also being carried by the I-T officials at Vivek's residence in Chennai.

Tamil channel Jaya TV is controlled by the VK Sasikala camp of the AIADMK.

The raids are being conducted for alleged money laundering through newly floated shell companies.

As part of "Operation Clean Money", the Income Tax officials started raids at the premises of Jaya TV office in Chennai and its associated on Thursday morning.

Of the 187 premises where the searches were conducted, most of it were in Tamil Nadu, a handful in Hyderabad, three in New Delhi, and one in Bengaluru, he said.

Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR were the mouthpiece of the ruling AIADMK but has become a strong critic of the state government following a rift between Sasikala and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami.

Dinakaran, AIADMK leader and Sasikala's nephew, in a press conference termed the raids "political motivated" and said that the raids would not weaken his faction of the AIADMK. "The Central government has sent the I-T department after me".

CNN-News18 said that friends and family members of Sasikala and Dhinakaran are being raided across four states in 187 locations.

IT sleuths who are conducting raids at various places have reached the T T V Dhinakaran as well. "Don't try to scare me", he said. Soon after IT authorities arrived at his home in Adyar in high-class south Chennai, Dinakaran said the raids were politically launched. They were among a number of locations connected to the Sasikala faction of the AIADMK. Correspondingly, Namadhu MGR is also under the effective control of Sasikala and her community. However, after the party broke into factions led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (who later became Deputy Chief Minister after merging his faction with Palaniswami's), and Sasikala and Dinakaran, they promoted only the Sasikala-Dinakaran faction.

Asserting that the I-T action against him and Sasikala's close aides was being "orchestrated by the Centre; EPS (Palaniswamy) and OPS (Panneerselvam) are both behind this" Dhinakaran said: "I will not bow down".