Actor Sonu Sood on Wednesday, September 15, saw six premises connected to him raided by the Income-Tax Department.
The raids are said to have taken place in Lucknow and Mumbai because Sood apparently stands accused of tax evasion.
Local reports said they were in connection with a deal between Sood and a Lucknow-based real-estate company.
The raids have come within days of Sood meeting Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
At the meeting, Kejriwal reportedly made him the brand ambassador for the AAP government’s mentorship programme for school students in Delhi.
Following the raids, several AAP politicians — Kejriwal included — expressed their support for Sood.
AAP leader Atishi wrote on Twitter that the raids were “a clear message by BJP that they will victimise anyone who does good work for the country [sic].”
She also alluded to the helping Sood has been extending to people since the beginning of the pandemic last year, especially to migrant workers.
The BJP government at the Centre, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was squarely criticized from all quarters for not doing enough for migrant workers, who had to struggle to their villages from the cities they were working in.
Meanwhile, the 48-year-old Sood continues to help people through the Sood Charity Foundation when he is not acting in films.
He started his acting career in the Tamil and Telugu industries before finding a footing in the Hindi film industry.
Over the years, he has made a name for himself in supporting and negative roles. In fact, the role he is best remembered for is the antagonist Chhedi Singh in the Salman Khan-starrer 2010 blockbuster Dabangg.
Sood wrangled the IIFA award for best actor in a negative role for that turn, and then went on to play similar antagonistic roles in the 2013 Shahid Kapoor-starrer R… Rajkumar, and 2018’s Rohit Shetty directorial Simmba, which starred Ranveer Singh.