The Income Tax department has deployed 116 additional officials across seven Northeastern.states to monitor election expenditure of candidates and flow of black money during the Lok Sabha poll process, official sources said Wednesday. The Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax of North East Region (NER), Kavita Jha, has deputed the additional manpower of 116 I-T officers and inspectors to the Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation).
These 116 officials would join the existing 41 posted in 112 districts of the region. The NER investigation wing on Tuesday issued orders for deployment of the 157 officials who will spread over seven states - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, the sources said.
Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of these states have been officially intimated about the deployment. "The deployment is under directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a bid to throttle the flow of black money to influence elections," a source said.
Lok Sabha elections would be held in various phases in these seven states beginning April 11. Of the states, Arunachal Pradesh would also go for simultaneous Assembly polls on that day. The IT sleuths would monitor movement of large sum of cash or other items suspected to be used for bribing voters and conduct independent enquiry following information or complaint against any person.
They would also verify affidavits declaring assets and liabilities filed by the candidates besides their election-related expenses. "Banks are also required to pass on information about withdrawal of more than Rs 10 lakh to the nodal officer of the Directorate, Subhrajyoti Bhattacharjee, additional director of Income Tax (Investigation), NER," the source said.
The Directorate has also activated Air Intelligence Units at all airports in the Northeast and would monitor movement of cash or valuables. State authorities and police are also required to report movement of suspicious cash to the I-T authorities.
Principal Director of Income Tax (Investigation) for NER, Sanjay Bahadur has issued instructions for heightened surveillance and intelligence gathering during elections. Meanwhile, the police seized Rs 15.6 lakh in cash from three places - Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli - in Capital Complex Tuesday night, Capital Superintendent of Police Tumme Amo said Wednesday.
(With inputs from agencies.)