Sleuths of the income tax (I-T) department raided houses of popular Punjabi singers Diljit Dosanjh, Miss Pooja and Gippy Grewal and the premises of two Punjabi film-producing firms on Wednesday.
Harjit Singh Sohi, director, investigations, I-T, said separate teams of the department began raids at the houses of Dosanjh, Miss Pooja and Grewal in the morning. "Simultaneously, the premises of Batra Films and Speed Records were raided in Jalandhar," he said. The raids were still in progress till the filing of this report and were expected to continue throughout the night.
An official who was part of a raiding party said I-T teams swooped on the houses of Dosanjh in Dugri (Ludhiana), Miss Pooja in Rajpura (Patiala district) and Grewal in SAS Nagar district. Sources said the singers and firms were suspected of evading income tax.
As per unconfirmed reports, the teams recovered unaccounted cash of Rs 80 lakh during the raids, while several documents regarding business deals by these singers and firms were also seized.
Department officials disclosed that the teams found several undeclared bank accounts of these singers and firms and sealed some bank lockers also.
Dosanjh and Grewal had starred in this year's blockbuster Punjabi hits 'Jatt and Juliet' and 'Carry on Jatta', respectively, while Miss Pooja is the leading female singer in the Punjabi music industry today.
Meanwhile, department sources said the raiding teams were led by joint commissioner (income tax) Munish Sareen, Harjit Singh Sohi and deputy director (I-T) Ghanshyam Sharma.
In Jalandhar, I-T sleuths raided the premises of Speed Records in Model Town, Ruby Electronics at Phagwara Gate, and the residence of Dinesh Aulakh (Speed Records) in Seth Hukam Chand Colony, sources said, adding that offices and residences of partners of Batra Films had also been searched.
In SAS Nagar, I-T officials reached Grewal's house in Sector 67 around 7:15 am. His wife and two schoolgoing children were at home, while the singer-actor has gone abroad for the shooting of an upcoming movie. Income tax sleuths also conducted searches at the house of Grewal's cousin Sammi Singh, a brick-kiln owner, in Sector 68. Sammi is also a partner in Grewal's upcoming film, 'Lucky di unlucky story'.
Sources said most of the Punjabi singers were also co-producers of films and preferred payment in cash for their albums and shows.
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