On March 4, The Income Tax raids on properties linked to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, actress Taapsee Pannu and others continued for the second day. The Income Tax department started carrying out raids on 22 locations on March 3 on the properties linked to Kashyap, Pannu, Vikas Bahl, filmmaker Madhu Mantena and others in Mumbai, Pune and other locations. The raids are in connection to the allegation of tax evasion by Kashyap’s Phantom Films that was dissolved in 2018.
As per the reports, properties linked to Shibhashish Sarkar (CEO of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment), Afsar Zaidi (CEO Exceed) and Vijay Subramaniam (CEO Kwan talent management agency) were also searched by the IT department.
Times Now has reported that the IT Department has interrogated Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu for long hours on March 3. It is unclear if they will be interrogated today again.
As per reports, when Phantom Films was operational, several shell companies were floated. The funds were then parked in these companies. The I-T Department also suspect that Kashyap and other directors of Phantom films used the money for investing in properties and other assets. Taapsee’s role in the alleged tax evasion case is yet to be revealed.
Kwan’s name has emerged in high profile cases
Notably, Kwan Talent Management Agency‘s name has appeared in high profile cases in recent times. After the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020, several aspects of the case were investigated. During the investigation, evidence of excessive usage of narcotics in Bollywood led to an investigation by NCB. In September 2020, the CEO of Kwan was summoned by Narcotics Control Bureau in connection to cases related to drug usage in Bollywood.
Madhu Mantena, who has been under IT scanner in current raids, was also summoned by NCB. Once Kwan’s name emerged in the news, its alleged dark side started to make headlines. Suchitra Krishnamoorti and Sharlyn Chopra made a series of allegations against the company. Actress Deepika Padukone’s NGO reportedly had a connection to Kwan. Anirban Das Blah, ex-owner of KWAN Entertainment, was associated with Deepika’s NGO. When his name first appeared in the “Me Too” movement in 2018, both KWAN and TLLLF issued a statement that they have removed Anirban from his respective positions in the organization.
Maha government, AAP supporters and ‘liberals’ start hailing Kashyap and Pannu
Amidst the IT department’s crackdown on Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu and others, the opposition parties and liberals have come forward in their support. Maharashtra government has come out openly in their support. Maharashtra cabinet minister Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur said those who speak against BJP is considered a traitor.
Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan the raids are because they are ‘outspoken celebrities’.
Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan slams the Income Tax raids on filmmaker #AnuragKashyap and actor #TaapseePannu saying the raids are because they are outspoken celebrities. pic.twitter.com/qxAwnpdEf6— NDTV (@ndtv) March 3, 2021
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj called them ‘brave and rare’.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav called the raids a “condemnable act” and alleged that the central government is threatening artists for ‘calling spade a spade’.
They first employed IT, CBI, ED to conduct raids on vocal & upright political rivals for their character assassination.— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) March 3, 2021
Now Nazi govt is chasing social activists, journalists & artists to threaten them against calling spade a spade.
Condemnable Act! @taapsee @anuragkashyap72
Congress Prince Rahul Gandhi did not name Kashyap or Pannu. He shared what he probably thought was a sarcastic tweet mentioning some Hindi proverbs. He claimed the raids are the government’s attempt to harass ‘pro-farmers’.
कुछ मुहावरे:— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 4, 2021
उँगलियों पर नचाना- केंद्र सरकार IT Dept-ED-CBI के साथ ये करती है।
भीगी बिल्ली बनना- केंद्र सरकार के सामने मित्र मीडिया।
खिसियानी बिल्ली खंबा नोचे- जैसे केंद्र सरकार किसान-समर्थकों पर रेड कराती है।#ModiRaidsProFarmers
Entertainer Swara Bhasker and movie maker Anubhav Sinha commented on the issue too. While Bhasker called Tapsee and Kashyap brave, Anubhav Sinha said he just loves them both.
The raids are expected to continue on Friday, and more celebrities may get summoned by the IT department in the case.