In a shocking development this week, the Income Tax Department conducted a survey at premises in Mumbai linked to Bollywood actor Sonu Sood.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sood stepped forward to help all those who reached out to him and was widely recognised for his humanitarian work. The actor’s Sood Charity Foundation has been helping thousands of deserving students achieve their educational and professional goals, whether through financial assistance or through its efforts to prepare students for a professional career.
Sources said the IT department is looking into a land deal between Sood’s firm and a real estate company in Lucknow following complaints of alleged tax evasion.
Reacting to the survey, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Spokesperson Raghav Chadha said that this is nothing but a “witch hunt” by an insecure government against a giant philanthropist. “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.
Commenting on the same, AAP MLA Atishi asked if it was a crime for him to help those in difficulty. “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?” Atishi tweeted.
On August 27 Sonu Sood was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Delhi government’s ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ program. The ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ is a programme where the mentors will take out ten minutes every week to guide the students.
But referring to the Income Tax raids on the residence of the actor, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore on Thursday said that the law is equal for all, adding that if the person is right then he should not be afraid of such an investigation. Kishore’s remarks came after the IT department conducted surveys at six premises linked to actor Sonu Sood in Mumbai.
Addressing reporters today, Kishore said, “The law is equal for all, whoever it is. So, if the person is right then there should be no problem if such an investigation is being carried out.”
He further said, “Everyone knows this that people should pay their tax and if there is tax evasion, then it is a crime, whether he is a common man or a celebrity. In such cases, internal investigation happens. But no one needs to panic if they are right.”
Meanwhile, extending his support to the actor, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today in a tweet said, “There are millions of difficulties on the way to truth, but truth always wins. With @SonuSood ji, there are prayers of lakhs of families of India who got Sonu ji’s support in difficult times.”
In another development showing the popularity of the actor, a journey from the vegetable seller to Bollywood singer Arun Kumar Nikam’s song “Dil Se Hain Salaam” was launched by Bhajan singer Anup Jalota. The song is a tribute to actor Sonu Sood. Comedian Sunil Pal, Producer Subhash Dawar, Ashok Hadiya and other music celebrities were present for the song launch and gave a thumbs up for the song. Arun Kumar Nikam has given the lyrics to this song. He is the singer and video director of the song, while music has been composed by Gaurav Kumar. When asked about his journey, he stated, “The idea for the song came to me instantly when I was waiting for a chance to meet Sonu Sood during the coronavirus outbreak.” After the recording of the song, Nikam met Sonu Sood and received a green signal from him.
On the song’s release, Arun said, “I am grateful to my producers who pitched in and made this happen. I’d like to express my gratitude to Anup Ji for attending the song launch. This song is special for me. It’s my way of paying tribute to Sonu Sood Ji, who proved to be a true hero for common people amid the coronavirus pandemic. The major goal of the release is to reach as many people as possible. If the song receives positive feedback from the audience, my efforts will be rewarded, and doors to the industry may open for me.”