The Income Tax department on Saturday carried out raids at the premises of several Arhtiyas or commission agents engaged in foodgrains business in Punjab. The raids followed serving of Income Tax notices four days back to 14 commission agents.
The Punjab government had denounced the raids which were carried out without the knowledge of the state government machinery. Instead of Punjab Police personnel, the Income Tax department took the help of CRPF in carrying out the raids.
Chief minister Amarinder Singh directly blamed the Narendra Modi government and said that such pressure tactic would not deter the farmers.
The raids were carried out and notices served to them only after hundreds of Arhtiyas from Punjab and Haryana arrived at Tikri border on Dec 9 to show solidarity towards the agitating farmers. They remained there for a week.
The commission agents, while talking to the media, said that they were not even given time to respond to the Income Tax notices.
Farmers’ union leaders of Punjab and Haryana as well as the commission agents have decried the raids.
Several Union ministers and BJP leaders have repeatedly been blaming the commission agents for backing this stir for their ends.
Incidentally, the Income Tax raids followed the serving of notices to about a dozen farmers in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh by the superintendent of police last week. They were asked as to why Rs 50 lakhs should not be recovered from them for misleading the farmers to take part in the agitation. The SP then said that it was a preventive measure.