A BJP leader in Kerala Tuesday issued a veiled warning to actors and other members of the film industry in the state, asking them to make sure they filed their taxes on time lest they may find themselves raided by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate authorities. The threat came a day after several actors, writers and intellectuals took out a protest march in Kochi against the citizenship law and the proposed national register of citizens.
Sandeep G Varier, state secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and a spokesperson of the party, wrote in a Facebook post, “To the attention of the people of the film industry who make political statements in front of a microphone and the public. Especially actresses. Make sure your father, brother or your secretary is filing income tax returns at the right time. Often, newcomers in the film industry commit lapses when it comes to filing taxes and showing their commitment to the nation.” Read in Malayalam
He continued, “I hope that the Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate authorities are closely watching this. Tomorrow, if you get caught dodging taxes, don’t cry complaining of political vendetta. At that time, there won’t be any drug addicts to join you on a protest march.”
The Yuva Morcha leader’s remarks are being seen as a threat to eminent actors and members of the film fraternity in Kerala who have raised their voices against the controversial law that attempts to give citizenship status to all non-Muslim refugees arriving in India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. On Monday, actors Rima Kallingal, Nimisha Sajayan, Shane Nigam, directors Geethu Mohandas, Ashiq Abu, Kamal, writer Syam Puskaran and NS Madhavan had taken part in a protest march in Kochi.
Earlier, BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan had said the actors, who took part in the anti-CAA protest, had no love for the country. He dubbed their patriotism fake and asked them to address the issue with greater clarity.
The citizenship law, enacted by Parliament earlier this month, is being widely castigated as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘anti-Muslim.’ Protests, that erupted across the country following the passage of the law, have resulted in violence in several parts, resulting in the death of over 15 people in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Mangaluru.
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