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Oppn leaders slam Centre after IT searches properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu

Ashok Chavan, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Prashant Bhushan and Tejashwi Yadav call move an attempt to silence voices rising against the Centre.

Both Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu have been critical of the ruling party and the Centre and questioned policies. (File photo)

The Income Tax department’s searches at production houses and event management companies linked to actress Taapsee Pannu, filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl, and Madhu Mantena over alleged tax evasion drew severe criticism from the opposition parties.

Calling this an attempt to subvert voices rising against the Centre, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Ashok Chavan said, “Such raids have become very common nowadays as the BJP uses the central agencies to target people speaking up against their governments.” He added, “This happened to them as they are celebrities who voice their opinions regarding what is happening around the country.”

Reiterating the sentiments of the Maharashtrian leader, Rajya Sabha MP and deputy leader of the Shiv Sena, Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted, “Hope the Income Tax department of our country, is saved from bonded slavery status soon. Same wishes for ED and CBI too.”

Hitting out at the central government for using the agencies to target people who do not toe its line, lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan wrote on the microblogging site, “Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, Actor Taapsee Pannu Face Income Tax Raids. BJP’S A team at work to harass, intimidate & silence those who don’t fall in line. India has never seen such malafide use of IT dept, ED, NIA, police etc.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, too, went on to criticize such raids saying the “BJP government has employed IT, CBI and ED to conduct raids on vocal and upright political rivals for their character assassination”. He added, “Now, the Nazi govt is chasing social activists, journalists and artists to threaten them against calling spade a spade. Condemnable Act!”

Earlier in the day, an official had told The Indian Express that the searches were carried out as there have been instances of tax evasion. “The movies produced by the production house have been superhit, but the profits and account statements of the company are showing disproportionately low income,” the official said.

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