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Congress, NCP slam Centre over I-T raids on Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu

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Mumbai, Mar 03: 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".

Anurag Kashyap

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 the NCP leader.

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.

Hitting out at the Centre, another Maharashtra Minister Yashomati Thakur said the Income Tax Department''s action against the Bollwyood figures stemmed from "vengeance".

They work with so much vengeance. They dont want anyone to enjoy the freedom a democracy gives. For them, it is an autocratic rule and whatever they say is right and whatever others want to say is wrong,the Women and Child Development Minister Thakuralleged.

Further attacking the Centre, the Congress minister said anyone who speaks up on national issues is labelled as deshdrohi (anti-national).

The I-T Department on Wednesday raided the homes and offices of Pannu and Kashyap as well as his partners who launched the now shuttered production house Phantom Films, officials said.

The searches, part of a tax evasion probe against Phantom Films and carried out across 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, also covered Reliance Entertainment group CEO Shibhasish Sarkar and some executives of celebrity and talent management companies KWAN and Exceed, they said.

The others searched include some Phantom Films production house employees, which was dissolved in 2018, and its then promoters Kashyap, director-producer Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Vikas Bahl and producer-distributor Madhu Mantena.

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