The Indian tax police on Wednesday raided the property of four Bollywood celebrities, including actress Taapsee Pannu and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, in the cities of Mumbai and Pune in the western state of Maharashtra.
Both Taapsee and Anurag are vocal critics of prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party government. They have slammed the government on various issues on social media, including the ongoing protests by peasants against three new farm laws.
Sources told UNB that 30 property linked to the four Bollywood celebrities—producers Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena being the other two—were searched by sleuths of the federal Income Tax department in Mumbai and Pune over allegations of tax evasion.
’The tax raids were in connection with Anurag’s Phantom Films, a now-defunct production house. Vikas and Madhu were co-promoters of Phantom Films. Several documents have been seized during the raids,’ sources said.
Indian information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar refuted allegations that the raids were ‘politically motivated’.
‘The Income Tax department probes someone based on whatever information they get. The issue goes to court later,’ he told the media in Delhi.
Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena ministers have come down heavily on the Modi government for the raids. ‘Anurag and Tapasee have raised their voice against the Modi government’s policies. This action is an attempt to suppress their voices,’ minister Nawab Malik said.
After modelling for a few years, Tapasee made her acting debut with the 2010 regional Telugu film Jhummandi Naadam and later acted in the 2011 Tamil film, Aadukalam. She made her Hindi film debut with David Dhawan’s comedy Chashme Baddoor.
The actress got noticed for her performance in the courtroom drama Pink, which was a critical and commercial success.
Apart from acting, Pannu runs an event management company called The Wedding Factory along with her sister Shagun and a friend. She is also the owner of the badminton franchise Pune 7 Aces, which plays in the Premier Badminton League.
Anurag got his major break as a co-writer in filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s crime drama Satya in 1998, and made his Bollywood directorial debut with Paanch, which never had a theatrical release due to censorship issues.
He then went on to direct Black Friday (2004), a film based on the namesake book by Hussain Zaidi about the 1993 Bombay bombings. He gained fame with the two-part crime drama, Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012.
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