Raipur, Feb 5 (PTI) Senior Chhattisgarh Congress leader Amarjeet Bhagat on Monday said raids on his premises by the Income Tax department were an attempt to harass him.
The former state minister said such acts would not deter him and he would continue to fight for the rights of tribals.
On January 31, the IT department launched raids on the premises linked to Bhagat in Ambikapur and Raipur as well as some businessmen and builders in other places. The IT action continued for the next four days.
Central agencies are being misused to harass those in the opposition, including tribal leaders, he told reporters.
Tribal leader Hemant Soren was targeted this way and he was forced to resign as Jharkhand chief minister (and then arrested), Bhagat claimed.
"On the same day, the IT officials raided my residence and premises of my associates. This was an attempt to harass me mentally and to create an atmosphere of threat and intimidation. We were not allowed to go out of our house for five days (during the raids)," he claimed.
Bhagat, a senior tribal leader, claimed IT officials could not find anything after the raids.
"I have been appointed the state convener of Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. This (raid) is an attempt to disrupt the yatra and ensure it fails in the state. I may get a Lok Sabha ticket from Surguja and I think BJP is tying to create an atmosphere of fear with such raids to influence the yatra and Lok Sabha polls," he alleged.
"I am a tribal leader. If they (ruling BJP) cannot tolerate me, instead of sending IT they should shoot me dead. I will continue to fight for tribal rights till I am alive," he added.
On January 17 this year, the state's Economic Offence Wing/ Anti Corruption Bureau lodged an FIR in the alleged coal levy scam based on the complaint of the Enforcement Directorate which had launched a probe into the case during the previous Congress government.
Amarjeet Bhagat, who was minister in the previous Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government, is among 35 accused named in this EOW/ACB First Information Report. PTI TKP BNM BNM