Income Tax officials today raided properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai over alleged tax evasion, sources said. Searches took place at 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including premises linked to a talent agency as well as Phantom Films, which was co-promoted by Anurag Kashyap, producers Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena.
“The Income Tax department probes someone based on whatever information they get. The issue goes to court later,” Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said during a BJP briefing.
Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu are outspoken critics of the government and have lent their voice to various causes, including the ongoing farmer protests against central laws. Recently, Ms. Pannu had criticized the show of solidarity by celebrities towards the government in response to pop star Rihanna’s post drawing attention to the farmers’ agitation. The actor took a jibe at the pushback and questioned “one tweet” rattling one’s belief.
Hours after the officials of Income Tax raided filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu, various opposition leaders attacked the Centre for ‘misusing’ central agencies. Bihar Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav said that the government was chasing social activists, journalists and artists to threaten them against calling a spade a spade.
Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan also hit out at the government. “It’s not a new thing for the country. It happens almost every day. The Central government uses these methods to pressure and threaten anyone who holds the capacity to raise a voice against it. The government is using these mediums to silence those who speak against it,” said Chavan.