Income Tax officials 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.
"If one tweet rattles your unity, one joke rattles your faith or one show rattles your religious belief, then it's you who has to work on strengthening your value system not become propaganda teachers for others," Ms Pannu had said on social media last month.
Several ministers in Maharashtra slammed the tax raids, saying Mr Kashyap and Ms Pannu were being targeted because of their views. "The way in which raids were conducted in the homes and offices of Anurag Kashyap and Tapasee Pannu, this is definitely the usage of Enforcement Directorate or the Income Tax against those who take a stand against the government or its policies. Anurag Kashyap and Tapasee Pannu have raised their voice against the Modi government's policies. This action is an attempt to suppress their voices," Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav called the raids a "condemnable act" and slammed the centre. "They first employed IT, CBI, ED to conduct raids on vocal and upright political rivals for their character assassination. Now Nazi govt is chasing social activists, journalists & artists to threaten them against calling spade a spade," the Bihar politician tweeted.
Anurag Kashyap had been vocal about condemning the violence against anti-Citizenship Act protesters in 2019. Last year, he had expressed support for actor Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and had slammed Bollywood actors for not speaking up enough on the case.
Phantom Films was dissolved in 2018 following Vikas Bahl being named in an incident of alleged sexual misconduct.