Mumbai: The Income tax officials on Wednesday “surveyed” at least six properties of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood in Mumbai and Lucknow, according to media reports. The visit of the I-T officials, which was not termed as raid, was in connection with an alleged tampering in the book of accounts related to him, the report said.
Notably, the I-T survey comes soon after the 48-year-old actor became the brand ambassador of the Delhi government’s mentorship programme after receiving national and humanitarian acclaim for helping people during the coronavirus pandemic. Starting with providing busses for the migrant workers in 2020, the Bollywood actor ensured oxygen supply during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic. Sonu was hailed as a real-life hero and was conferred with a special humanitarian action award by the United National Development Programme.
While, many are linking the tax searches to the actor’s meet with the AAP party, BJP spokesman Asif Bhamla refuted the claims in a media interview stating, “There is no relation to that. Any personality can meet anyone. It is just a search, not a raid. It’s on a tipoff. It’s not necessary that the person who heads the charity has done anything wrong… It must be something at the lower level. Income Tax is an independent department, which has its own protocol. It is doing its job,”
Meanwhile, AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadha termed this I-T action as a witchhunt aleging Sonu Sood’s only crime is to stand by people who were neglected by the government. “This is nothing but a witch hunt by an insecure government against a giant philanthropist considered a ‘messiah’ by millions. His only crime is that he worked for the welfare of the downtrodden when they were orphaned by the state,” Raghav Chadha tweeted.
AAP MLA Atishi issued a video statement slamming the survey and said this is a clear message by the BJP that they will victimise anyone who does any good work in the country.
The ‘survey’ of actor-and-philanthropist @SonuSood by the IT Dept is a clear message by BJP that they will victimise anyone who does good work for the country? Was it a crime for @SonuSood to help migrants during the lockdown? Was it a crime for him to help those in difficulty? pic.twitter.com/oA47wes9Vv
— Atishi (@AtishiAAP) September 15, 2021
It is to be mentioned that in January this year, the civic body of Mumbai, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had filed a case against Sonu Sood for allegedly converting a six-storey residential building in Juhu into a hotel. The actor in turn had challenged the BMC notice issued against him in the Bombay High Court.
On the professional front, Sonu will next appear in Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s period drama ‘Prithviraj’. Apart from this, he is also a part of the Telugu action-drama ‘Acharya’ which also stars actors like Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Kajal Aggarwal, and Pooja Hegde.