On Wednesday, income tax officials carried out a raid at the premises of well-known film director Anurag Kashyap and actress Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai over implied tax evasion, sources said. The investigating agency is searching at nearly 20 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including premises of Phantom Films promoted by Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena.
Kashyap, Bahl, and Pannu are outspoken critics of the government. They have been vocal on social media platforms and have raised their concern over various issues, including the ongoing farmers’ protest against the three farm laws.
In 2019, Anurag Kashyap had been vocal about condemning the violence against anti-Citizenship Act protesters. Last year, he supported actor Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and had criticized Bollywood actors for not speaking up on the issue.
Recently, Ms. Pannu had criticized the celebrity’s show of solidarity towards the government in response to pop star Rihanna’s creating awareness about farmers’ agitation.
“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.
Meanwhile, several ministers in Maharashtra condemned the tax department’s raid on Mr. Kashyap and Ms. Pannu, saying the raids are because they are outspoken celebrities. “The way in which raids were conducted in the homes and offices of Anurag Kashyap and Tapasee Pannu, this is 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.