Mumbai, Mar 3: Maharashtra ruling allies Congress and the NCP on Wednesday criticised the Income Tax raids on filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu, and termed the action as an attempt to suppress the voices of those who speak against the Modi government and put forth "facts".
State minister and NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said central agencies are being used to target those who take a stand against the BJP-led NDA government.
His cabinet colleague Ashok Chavan of the Congress said the raids are the Centre's way to pressurise people who put forth "facts" so that they do not speak up.
"Central agencies like the ED, CBI and Income Tax are being used to target those who take an anti-government stand and speak against the policies of the regime," Malik told reporters outside Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai.
"The premises of Anurag Kashyap and Pannu have been raided. Both were raising their voices against the Modi government. This action has been carried out to suppress their voices," said Malik.
Interacting with media persons separately outside Vidhan Bhavan, PWD Minister Chavan said the raids are not something new.
This is not new. We have been seeing this as happening often. Those who put forth facts are being pressurised in this way so that they dont speak up, Chavan said while replying to a question.
The Income Tax Department on Wednesday raided premises linked to filmmakers, including Kashyap, who launched the now dissolved production house Phantom Films, Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhashish Sarkar, and Pannu, officials said.
The searches were being carried out in over 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, they said.
The action is part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films, which was dissolved in 2018, and its then promoters Kashyap, director-producer Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Vikas Bahl and producer-distributor Madhu Mantena, they said.
Sources said some inter-linked transactions between the entities searched are under the scanner of the department and the raids are aimed at gathering more evidence to further probe tax evasion allegations.