Ankit Tiwari arrest: DMK calls ED 'Extortion Department'; BJP defends agency
ED officer's arrest: Tamil Nadu Congress president KS Alagiri said if Tiwari was innocent, he wouldn't have run away.
Chennai: The arrest of Enforcement Directorate officer Ankit Tiwari by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on Friday for allegedly accepting ₹20 lakh bribe, has kicked up a political storm in the state. DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran today called the agency "Extortion Department" and accused the BJP-led central government of misusing it to target “political opponents and critics”. The Bharatiya Janata Party defended the Enforcement Directorate saying the entire agency can't be blamed for Tiwari's act.
Ankit Tiwari, a 2016-batch officer posted in Madurai, was arrested on Friday while allegedly accepting a bribe of ₹20 lakh from a doctor in the state's Dindigul district.
"The Directorate of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption police, Tamil Nadu have arrested an ED officer for demanding and accepting a bribe of ₹20 Lakh in Dindigul. This shatters the faith citizens have in public institutions, making one wonder if ED stands for Extortion Department or Enforcement Directorate after being systematically misused by the BJP government to brazenly terrorize and extort political opponents and critics across the country," the DMK MP wrote on X.
Before this, Tamil Nadu Congress president KS Alagiri said if Tiwari was innocent, he wouldn't have run away when the state police visited ED's office.
"Based on the information and complaint received by the Tamil Nadu police, they went to check on the Enforcement Department office. If he was innocent, he could have faced them. Why did he run away at the time?," he said.
"This investigation is based on the fact that the officer named Ankit Tiwari has made a mistake, he has money in his hand and has already received 20 lakhs and is bothering him by asking for ₹31 lakhs again, so the enforcement department should keep its doors open," he added.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said on Saturday that ED mustn't be blamed for the act of the individual officer.
"Yesterday, DVAC arrested one person from the ED department. He was produced before the court and sent for judicial custody. This is not the first time and this isn't the last time either. Earlier too, many have been caught and arrested from specialized agencies like CBI and ED in states like Rajasthan, West Bengal and Delhi. Recently, a similar incident happened in Rajasthan...We can't blame the ED for a single individual's mistake," he said.
According to a statement released by the DIPR Secretariat, Chennai, Tiwari had on October 29 contacted a government doctor from Dindigul and mentioned about a case registered against him in the Dindigul Vigilance and Anti Corruption Department.
"Further, Tiwari informed the employee that instructions had been received from the Prime Minister's Office to conduct an enquiry and asked the government doctor to appear before the ED office at Madurai on October 30," the DVAC statement read.
Tiwari allegedly asked the doctor to pay ₹3 crore to avert legal action in the case that had already been disposed of. He later agreed to collect ₹51 lakh as bribe. The doctor allegedly paid ₹20 lakh as the first instalment to the officer. After he was asked to pay ₹31 lakh through threatening WhatsApp messages, he contacted the vigilance department on November 30.
Tiwari was arrested at 10.30 am after he received ₹20 lakh from the complainant.
DVAC is probing whether other ED officials were also hand-in-glove with Ankit Tiwari.
With inputs from ANI
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