In a massive action against some big Bollywood personalities, the Income Tax department on Wednesday carried out searches at over 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including the premises of noted film Director Anurag Kashyap, actor Taapsee Pannu and filmmaker Vikas Bahl.
An I-T department source related to the probe said, "Searches are on at the premises of Pannu, Kashyap and Bahl in Mumbai and other locations." The source, however, refused to share further details of the case.
While the raids are being inducted at several locations in Mumbai and Pune, the development has also initiated a slugfest between politicians.
Maharashtra government cabinet minister Ashok Chavan has blamed the Centre for the raids saying those who speak against the government, Centre try to create pressure on them through central agencies.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik also hit out at the Centre saying anyone who speaks against the NDA government, its policies, the government wants to silence them through Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and other agencies.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that agencies only go after those about whom they have credible information and later the matter goes to the court.
The source further said that multiple teams of the agency sleuths were carrying out searches at over 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including the premises of the Phantom Films and former partner of Phantom Films Madhu Mantena.
Phantom Films was established by Anurag Kashyap, Director Vikramaditya Motwane, Producer Madhu Mantena and the former head of UTV Spotboy Vikas Bahl in 2011 and was dissolved in 2018.
IT sleuths remain tight-lipped on development
However, officials of the I-T department remained tightlipped on the searches at the premises of Phantom Films.
According to another I-T department official, the searches are going on at the premises of these Bollywood personalities in connection with some "tax evasion" matter.
Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu known critics of Modi govt
Kashyap, Bahl and Pannu have been vocal on the social media platforms and have also raised their concern over the farmers' protest, which have been going at the borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three farm laws.
Reacting to the news of the I-T searches on the Bollywood personalities, Congress Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore said, "Why (Union Finance Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman is so predictable? It's sad story for the I-T department, it has become so one sided and political too."
(With inputs from IANS)