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     Raipur, February 10, 2010: 1988 Batch IAS officer Babu Lal Agrawal was today suspended from service after Income Tax Department raided his house on February 4 and claimed to have recovered huge amount of money and properties.

     Amid denial by Agrawal of any wrongdoings, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh took seven days time to initiate action against the Agriculture Secretary but at the same time forwarded his case to Economic Offence Wing of the state for further probe.

     Agrawal has been accused of having properties disproportionate to his known source of income and after the Income Tax went on a raid on February 4, the State Government today suspended him and referred the matter to the EOW for probe, sources close to the Chief Minister told ChhattisgarhTopNews.Com here today.

    After the raid, bureaucracy was speculating for a week about the possible action against the IAS officer and after Collector Janjgir-Champa Trilok Chand Mahawar was transferred on February 8 and made Joint Secretary Agriculture, it was confirmed that the state government had decided to take action.

     However, political pundits said the suspension was a step to silence the opposition just ahead of the February 15 Budget session of the state assembly. Or else the Government would have waited for a clear report from the Income Tax Department to take any strong action against Agrawal, they added.

     The senior IAS officer had earlier told ChhattisgarhTopNews.Com that there was a conspiracy to tarnish his image and the raid was a part of that.

     “Less than six lakh rupees in cash were recovered from my house by the IT officials and whatever properties, movable or immovable and the cash, recovered have already been mentioned in my Income tax return and the return filed with the General Administration Department of the Government of Chhattisgarh,” Agrawal said.

     The liquid money found today was a part of the cash in hand, as declared by him earlier, said the official.

     Talking about the Income tax raid, the 1988 Batch IAS said “there is a conspiracy to tarnish my image”.

     Meanwhile, Income Tax officials said all the papers seized from the residence of Agrawal are being closely scrutinized to ascertain his actual income.

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