In a massive action against some big Bollywood personalities, the Income Tax department on Wednesday carried out searches at over 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including the premises of noted film Director Anurag Kashyap, actor Taapsee Pannu and filmmaker Vikas Bahl.
An I-T department source related to the probe told IANS, “Searches are on at the premises of Pannu, Kashyap and Bahl in Mumbai and other locations.”
The source, however, refused to share further details of the case.
The source further said that multiple teams of the agency sleuths were carrying out searches at over 30 locations in Mumbai and Pune, including the premises of the Phantom Films and former partner of Phantom Films Madhu Mantena.
Phantom Films was established by Anurag Kashyap, Director Vikramaditya Motwane, Producer Madhu Mantena and the former head of UTV Spotboy Vikas Bahl in 2011 and was dissolved in 2018.
However, officials of the I-T department remained tightlipped on the searches at the premises of Phantom Films.
According to another I-T department official, the searches are going on at the premises of these Bollywood personalities in connection with some “tax evasion” matter.
Kashyap, Bahl and Pannu have been vocal on the social media platforms and have also raised their concern over the farmers’ protest, which have been going at the borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three farm laws.
Reacting to the news of the I-T searches on the Bollywood personalities, Congress Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore said, “Why (Union Finance Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman is so predictable? It’s sad story for the I-T department, it has become so one sided and political too.”
Actresses Nikki Tamboli, Sofia Singh taken to Tihar Jail to recreate meetings with Sukesh
Two actresses — Nikki Tamboli and Sofia Singh — were taken inside the Tihar Jail to “recreate” their alleged meeting with conmon Sukesh Chandrashekhar, a senior Delhi Police official said Tuesday.
“It was part of the ongoing probe into the Rs 200 crore extortion case related to Sukesh Chandrashekhar,” the official said.
Chandrashekhar, presently lodged in Jail No. 3 of the Tihar Jail, was arrested last year for allegedly cheating and extorting money from some high-profile people, which includes former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh. Many women Bollywood actors and models have been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar.
In April 2021, he was arrested in another money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery case, which allegedly involved a former AIADMK leader and others.
Notably, the Enforcement Directorate, recently in an application in Supreme Court, had mentioned that accused Sukesh has repeatedly committed offences, including that of money laundering during his incarceration in jail by subverting the legal system and prison rules with the help of his knowledge of technology and his “ability to con people”.
According to the sources, ‘Big Boss’ fame Nikki Tamboli, ‘Bade Acche Lagte Hai’ fame Chahat Khanna, Sophia Singh, and Arusha Patil met Chandrashekhar in the jail premises and he introduced himself as a producer of the southern film industry.
A source said that Chandrashekhar’s aide Pinky Irani, who was arrested later, had facilitated their meetings with Chandrashekhar. All these four actresses were given expensive gifts of renowned brands such as Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton.
Chandrashekhar also transferred some Rs 5.20 lakh into the account of Patil, who has admitted to have met him but not in the jail. When Irani introduced Khanna to Chandrashekhar, the actress was allegedly given Rs 2 lakh and a blue-coloured Versace watch.
Chandrashekhar allegedly deposited Rs 2 lakh into the account of Singh and later gifted her an LV bag. She was, later on, given Rs 1.5 lakh more.
Irani got an amount of Rs 10 lakh from Chandrashekhar for introducing him to Tamboli, and she gave Rs 1.5 lakh to Tamboli. Later on, Chandrashekhar gave her a Gucci bag and Rs 2 lakh on their first meeting.
‘We have lost a gem’: Condolences start pouring in for Raju Srivastava
Even as the news of comedian Raju Srivastava’s death spread across the country, messages of condolence started pouring in.
The first to react was Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who said: “It is regrettable that Raju Srivastava is no more with us. He came from a poor family, but with his talent and hard work, he created his presence in the world. There are very few talented comedians like him. I remember how he wanted to contest from Kanpur when he joined SP.”
Srivastava was indeed given an SP ticket in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but he later returned it and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Saddened to hear the tragic news of Raju Srivastava’s untimely demise. He made us all laugh with his amazing comic timing for so many years. We have lost a gem. My deepest condolences to his family members and admirers.”
India has one less reason to laugh; our favourite ‘Gajodar Bhaiyya’ is no more
Known for his earthy humour and inimitable delivery style, comedian Raju Srivastav, who became a household name in his delightful ‘Gajodhar Bhaiyya’ persona, breathed his last on Wednesday, September 21, aged 59. The popular comedian battled for his life for 43 days.
He passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he had been rushed on August 9 after he complained of chest pain and collapsed in the South Delhi gym where he was working out.
Srivastav was at once moved to the Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator. Doctors had then said that he had suffered brain damage.
Born on December 25, 1963, Satya Prakash Srivastava, who later became famous as Raju Srivastava, came from a middle-class family in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
A gifted mimic, the comedy star had his share on initial struggles before attracting notice by mimicking megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic baritone voice. That got him invited to stage shows both within and outside India.
He first appeared in small roles in Bollywood films, such as the 1989 Salman Khan-starrer ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’, where he essayed the role of Shambhu, a house help. He then appeared in Shah Rukh Khan’s defining film ‘Baazigar’, which was released in 1993.
Srivastava was then seen in films such as ‘Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa’ (2001), ‘Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’ (2003), ‘Big Brother’ (2007) and ‘Bombay To Goa’ (2007), among many others.
His big breakthrough came in 2005, however, with the first season of ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, which opened the doors for him in the world of stand-up comedy.
He finished as second runner-up and then took part in the spin-off, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champions’, where he was feted with the title of ‘The King of Comedy’.
In 2009, he took over the cameras, quite literally, as he joined the reality show ‘Bigg Boss 3’. Following that, he was seen in ‘Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala’.
The beauty of his life was that he constantly kept pushing the envelope. In 2013, Srivastava, along with his wife Shikha, participated in the popular dance show ‘Nach Baliye’ Season 6. Soon thereafter, he also appeared on ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’.
He even branched out into politics! The Samajwadi Party fielded Srivastava from Kanpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, but he returned the ticked and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi named him to be a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, for which he has shot various TV commercials and social service video.
He is survived by Shikha, whom he married in 1993, and their children Antara and Ayushman.
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