Popular Sandalwood actor Sudeep claimed that the I-T searches on several high-profile members of the Kannada film industry could be connected to the production of three films - The Villain, KGF: Chapter 1 and Natasarvabhouma.
"I think it is something to do with the three films and the budget and expenses involved in them, that is, Villain, KGF and Natasarvabhouma. We will support whatever formalities will be needed for this process. It is not related to our personal matters but since it is pertaining to the three films, they are questioning everyone involved in these three films," Sudeep told reporters outside his residence at JP Nagar in Bengaluru. The actor was in Mysuru earlier on Thursday, but when he heard about the I-T search, he rushed back to his residence in Bengaluru.
He further added that he does not believe that the Income Tax searches are politically motivated. "I don't think the Income Tax department is under any political party. It has its own rules and regulations and when they get information that rules have not been followed, there will be raids like this but I don't think that we need to be worried. I will be glad if they find anything but we should get our money owed," he added.
Searches were carried out in as many as 25 locations in Bengaluru, including at the residences of actors Puneet Rajkumar, Shivrajkumar, Yash, Sudeep, and producers Rockline Venkatesh, CR Manohar, and Vijay Kiragandur, among many others. The searches were held simultaneously and began as early as 6.30 am on Thursday.
While Sudeep and Shivrajkumar starred in the 2018 film The Villain, Yash-starrer KGF: Chapter 1 was a runaway hit at the box-office towards the end of the year. Puneet Rajkumar's Natasarvabhouma is yet to be released.
Rockline Venkatesh is the producer of Natasarvabhouma and C.R. Manohar is the producer of The Villain, while Vijay Kirgandur produced KGF: Chapter 1 which earned Rs 154 crore worldwide as per reports. He is set to produce KGF: Chapter 2 as well.