The Income Tax Department’s investigation unit on March 3 conducted searches at premises linked to Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu and film director Anurag Kashyap in Mumbai.
The I-T department’s probe unit was also conducting raids on filmmaker and entrepreneur Madhu Varma Mantena. He is known for producing and distributing films across multiple languages including Hindi, Telugu and Bangla. In 2008, Mantena co-produced Aamir Khan-starer Ghajini which was the highest-grossing Indian film that year. Details of these searches were not immediately clear.
Additionally, according to News18, searches were on at locations associated with film producer Vikas Bahl and production and distribution company Phantom Films.
Some news reports suggested that I-T department raids, reportedly a part of a tax evasion probe, were underway at locations in Pune, Maharashtra too.
Pannu and Kashyap have been outspoken critics of the central government including on the issue of the ongoing farmers’ protest against the three contentious farm reform laws. The 33-year-old actor had criticised social media solidarity posts by other celebrities that carried hashtags “#IndiaTogether” and “#IndiaAgainstPorpaganda” – similar to those used by the government in its statement. These celebrities had put out social media posts following Barbadian singer Rihanna’s tweet drawing attention to the farmers’ protest.
"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 teacher' for others," Pannu had tweeted.In February 2020, Kashyap had joined the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Addressing protesters, Kashyap reportedly said: “This is a fight of patience, this is not going to end soon”.