Sonu Sood, a Bollywood actor, had made headlines last year during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in India for helping out the poor and needy.
His relief work in arranging transport services for thousands of migrant workers who were stranded out of cities after they all went into lockdown, lifted him up to the status of a ‘messiah’.
Even after that, there were reports of him helping out people with air transport back to the country, hospital admissions, medicines, getting people oxygen cylinders during the second wave and much more. This raised Sood to become one of India’s biggest philanthropists or at least one that the media was constantly talking about.
However, recently the IT department of the country carried out a few tax raids at Sood’s house and offices across Mumbai, in lieu of a tax evasion probe.
Sonu Sood Tax Evasion?
On Wednesday, the Income Tax department of India had officials raid around 6 properties in Mumbai and Lucknow that reportedly belong to Sonu Sood. As per sources, this was not an official tax and just a visit from the officials looking into an alleged tax evasion probe.
As per reports “A recent deal between Sonu Sood’s company and a Lucknow-based real estate firm is under the scanner,” and they further added that “The survey has been initiated on allegations of tax evasion on this deal.”
Apparently, this visit comes soon after the actor was named as the brand ambassador by the Delhi government for their mentorship programme. After his charity work last year, Sood was even awarded a special humanitarian action award by the United National Development Programme.
Already some politicians are claiming this is just Sood being targetted for associating himself with the AAP government. Raghav Chadha, national spokesperson for AAP stated in a tweet that “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.”
MLA Atishi from AAP also tweeted about this, speaking against the BJP government.
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
BJP on the other hand has refused any type of targetting of Sonu Sood. Asif Bhamla, BJP spokesman, said “There is no relation to that (the Kejriwal meeting). Any personality can meet anyone. It is just a search, not a raid. It’s on a tip-off. 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.”
This is not the first time that the IT department has carried out a raid against Sood as in 2012 also he was among several celebrities under the scanner. For Sood, it was regarding some Mumbai property he had bought for around Rs. 30 crores that raised some flags.
Reaction On Social Media
Many people on social media are not happy with this raid and compared millionaires and billionaire industrialists of the country not having the same kind of supervision on them from authorities.
Naming a few like Ambani, Adani and more they raised questions on how the IT department had never looked into them before for such reasons or at least never done so that made it to the public news.
A lot of people stood in support of Sood, stating how he was one of the few people actually helping out those in need when the country was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and resources were extremely hard to come by.
Several also said that it was unfair that Sood was being looked into just because his charity work was made public. Others commented on how this could possibly be a ploy by the government in charge who didn’t like one person outshining the main authorities.
This is not the first time that Sonu Sood is being looked into, as before also people have questioned the legitimacy of his help, how he is doing it all and whether it actually is helping anyone or just a big PR stunt for the actor.
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