IT raids: Taxmen continue to grill three Kannada producers
The Income Tax raids on four top Kannada film actors concluded Saturday but the taxmen continued to grill three producers on the third day of their swoop down on the state movie industry bigwigs. In a massive operation, simultaneous raids were being carried out on actors Shiva Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar, Sudeep and Yash and film producers C R Manohar, 'Rockline' Venkatesh and Vijay Kirigandur since Thursday. The actors heaved a sigh of relief but there was no respite for the producers and in all likelihood, their grilling may continue Sunday as well, I-T department sources hinted.
Sources said 'Rockline' Venkatesh was taken to the income tax office for questioning. Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Saturday said it was wrong to see political motives behind theIncome Tax raids and asserted that the taxmen were only doing their duty, based on the inputs they receive. Kumaraswamy said the raids were going on everywhere and it happens only when the I-T officials come to know about tax evasion. "Instead of saying they (raids) are politically motivated, we should say that the I-T officials are doing their duty. What choice do they have if the information is correct?," he told reporters in Hubballi.
The chief minister said film actors and producers "are not something special" and everybody has to function within the legal framework of the country. "Whenever there is information about the violations, legal procedure is followed," the chief minister said, adding that it holds good not only for the I-T department, but all the government departments. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said he has no objection if the raids were impartial, but it shouldnot be something related to any political party. He was replying to a question from reporters whether he thought there was any political motive to the raids. Nicknamed 'Hattrick star', Shivarajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar are the sons of Kannada thespian late Rajkumar. Both actors have delivered blockbuster movies.
Sudeep, who anchored the Kannada version of "Big Boss", was hailed for his role in the movie 'Eega' - 'Makkhi' inHindi - and the multi-lingual 'Baahubali', which broke new grounds in Indian cinema and created records in box-office collections. 'Rockline' Venkatesh had co-produced the Hindi movie "Bajrangi Bhaijaan." Vijay is the producer of the latest blockbuster movie "KGF", starring Yash, Srinidhi Shetty and Anant Nag. The film hit 2,460 screens all over the country on December 21 and is reportedly a box-office hit, not only in Kannada, but also in the Hindi and Tamil versions. C R Manohar has his own production house called"Tanvi Films." He has produced Kannada and Telugu movies. His latest movie was "The Villain," starring Shiva Rajkumar, Sudeep and Mithun Chakraborty.
(With inputs from agencies.)