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For actor Sonu Sood, raid on 6 locations in Mumbai, Lucknow: Sources

NDTV News
For actor Sonu Sood, raid on 6 locations in Mumbai, Lucknow: Sources

Sonu Sood is Fire Ambassador for Delhi Government Mentoring Program for School Students (File)

New Delhi:

Actor Sonu Sood’s offices in Mumbai and a company in Lucknow affiliated with him were attacked today by the income tax department, sources said.

Treasurers arrived this afternoon at the scene of the actor, who daily receives crowds of people seeking help at the door.

“A recent agreement between Sonu Soods company and a real estate company based in Lucknow is under the scanner. The investigation operation has been initiated on allegations of tax evasion on this agreement,” claimed sources in the income tax department.

This is not the first time Sonu Sood has been attacked. He was among Bollywood personalities raided in 2012 over alleged tax evasion.

Opposition politicians linked today’s raids with the actor’s most recent high-profile meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who declared him the fire ambassador for his government’s mentoring program for schoolchildren in the capital.

The 48-year-old actor has been in movies for the past two decades, but it was his amazing philanthropy during the pandemic that made him a household name.

Sonu Sood won high praise for his charitable work during the pandemic. He organized buses, trains and even flights for migrants who were desperate to get home after being stranded by last year’s lockdown. During the second wave in April-May, he organized oxygen for Covid patients and ordered 18 oxygen plants from France, which were sent to various states.

He was called the “messiah” of those who turned to him after the system failed them.

When he became a hero in real life, he was celebrated by politicians across the country. Although he has never shown any inclination to politics, speculation ran wild after his meeting with Mr Kejriwal, and rumors suggested that the actor may contest next year’s Punjab election as a candidate from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The BJP rejected the accusation that the raids were driven by the agenda.

“There’s no relation to it (the Kejriwal meeting). Any personality can meet anyone. It’s just a search, not a raid. It’s on tip-off. It’s not necessary that the person in charge of it “charity, has done something wrong … It must be something at the lower level. Income tax is an independent department that has its own protocol. It does its job,” said BifP spokesman Asif Bhamla.

Kejriwal tweeted that there were millions of obstacles on the path of truth, but truth always prevailed. “Sonu Sood has blessings from lakhs of families that he had helped in their difficult times,” he tweeted.

Another AAP leader, Raghav Chaddha, said: “An IT attack on a man as sincere as Sonu Sood, someone who has been called a messiah by lakhs of people, someone who helped the vulnerable. If a man like he can be politically targeted in a well-thought-out witch hunt shows that the current regime is insensitive and politically insecure. “

BJP’s former ally Shiv Sena was also critical of the tax cuts.

“I’m shocked. The way Sonu Sood has helped millions of people that taxpayers can search his property … I do not think he can do anything illegal,” said Shand Sena leader Anand Dubey.

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