The bigwigs of the Sandalwood industry woke up to the knocks of Income Tax officials on their doors on Thursday. In a simultaneous state-wide exercise, the Income Tax (I-T) department conducted raids at the residences of four top Kannada film actors including KGF star Yash and Bigg Boss Kannada host Sudeep. Also, three leading producers came under the radar. Actors Shivarajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar, sons of Kannada thespian late Rajkumar along with Yash and Sudeep were raided by I-T officials.
The raids were carried out across 23 locations in the state and involved around 200 sleuths, they said. Rockline Venkatesh, C R Manohar and Vijay Kiraganduru are the film producers whose residences were raided, the officials said. Nicknamed Hat trick star, Shivarajkumar is the son-in-law of former chief minister late S Bangarappa. Power-star Puneeth Rajkumar shot to fame for his role as a child artist in the Kannada movie Bettada Hoovu and had won a National Film Award.
Sudeep, who anchored the Kannada version of Big Boss, was hailed for his role in the movie Eega (Makkhi in Hindi) and the multi-lingual Baahubali, which broke new grounds in Indian cinema and created records in box office collections. Rockline Venkatesh is a relative of Congress MLA and film producer Munirathna. He had co-produced the Hindi movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Vijay is the producer of the latest blockbuster movie KGF, starring Yash, Srinidhi Shetty and Anant Nag. The film hit 2,460 screens all over the country on December 21 and is reportedly a box office hit, not only in Kannada but also in the Hindi and Tamil versions.
C R Manohar has his own production house called Tanvi Films. He has produced Kannada and Telugu movies. His latest movie was The Villain, starring Shivarajkumar, Sudeep and Mithun Chakraborty. The raids on one of the places, the I-T sources said, unearthed a huge cache of cash and gold ornaments. The I-T officials had brought with them a goldsmith to evaluate the ornaments.
(With PTI inputs)
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