Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu under I-T scanner: All you need to know about the raids
The income tax department on Wednesday raided the homes and offices of filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, actor Taapsee Pannu, and other film and media personalities, triggering allegations from Opposition parties that the action was politically motivated to muzzle dissent. Here is all you need to know about the action and reactions to it:
• The raids began at 8 am and continued late into the evening.
• They were carried out at least 30 places in Mumbai and Pune, and included the premises of Reliance Entertainment executive Shibhashish Sarkar, talent agency Exceed Entertainment executive Afsar Zaidi and the now-dissolved production company, Phantom Films.
• Kashyap and Pannu were questioned in Pune.
• Residences and official premises of Kashyap and Pannu in Versova, Goregaon and Andheri were raided.
• Pannu’s PR company KRI Entertainment was also searched.
• Kashyap and Pannu have criticised several policies and leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
• Officials said the searches were part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films, started by Kashyap, Bahl, director Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena.
• The company opened in 2011 but shut in 2018 after sexual harassment allegations against Bahl.
• In March 2015, Reliance Entertainment procured a 50% stake in the company. Mantena’s premises were also raided.
• Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi criticised the raids and said it was an attempt to suppress the voices of people speaking against the central government.
• Kashyap, 48, is a vocal critic of the government who has backed opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act that fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from three neighbouring Muslim-majority countries.
• Pannu, 33, has supported the ongoing farmers’ protest.