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No search or survey of helicopter in WB, Abhishek Banerjee wasn't present: I-T sources

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New Delhi, Apr 14 (PTI) As a row erupted over TMC's claim of a "raid" by income tax officials targeting a helicopter used by party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, I-T department sources claimed on Sunday that there was no enforcement action such as search or survey and the TMC leader wasn't even present in the chopper.

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To fulfil its mandate of coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure free and fair elections, a team of the income tax department was sent in "a routine manner" to collect information of the arrival of a helicopter at Behala Flying Club from Malda in West Bengal at around 1300 hrs on Sunday, the sources in the department said.

The information of the arrival of the helicopter was received from the Air Traffic Control, they said adding that after collection of the required information, the officials of the department left the place.

The helicopter, they said, was carrying two security personnel only.

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Banerjee was not even there, they claimed, adding no enforcement action like a search or survey was intended nor did it happen.

Earlier in the day, in a post on X, the TMC said the chopper was undergoing a trial run at Behala Flying Club for Abhishek Banerjee's visit to Haldia in Purba Medinipur district on Monday when a team of I-T officials arrived and extensively searched it.

The Election Commission, income tax department sources said, mandates coordination between the law enforcement agencies in order to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

It is as per this mandate that the Income Tax Department collects or shares information from/with various law enforcement agencies like RBI, customs, air traffic control and other authorities or persons in order to help in conducting free and fair elections in the country, the sources said. PTI ANZ RT RT

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