BENGALURU: Thursday morning’s raids on Sandalwood stars and producers are said to be the longest in the recent past. The reason, according to fans and many industry folk, is that Sandalwood is making it big in the cinema industry, with almost all the stars whose houses were raided on Thursday, having delivered big hits in recent times.
Rockline Venkatesh, whose residence was reportedly the first to be raided, is known to be one of the most famous producers in the industry. He has also been a distributor for several flicks starring superstar Rajinikanth.
“Natasarvabhouma, his next big production starring Puneeth Rajkumar, has been much talked about, and could be the possible reason he was on the I-T department radar. His launch of PRK Productions and PRK Audio could be another reason,” a producer said.
Sudeep’s The Villain, distributed for nearly Rs 70 crore, could have led to the raid on his residence and that of the producer, C R Manohar. Yash’s KGF Chapter 1 made big news in terms of cash inflow. The movie is produced by Vijay Kiragandur. The film made Rs 150 crore, while the investment was approximately Rs 70 crore.
However, reacting to this speculation, Ba Ma Harish, secretary, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said, “Sandalwood is making a good name and business recently. With KGF becoming a blockbuster, others may feel that actors and producers might have opted for an illegal route to make money. This is not true. We have all made legal investments and a system is in place for online bookings, and the film’s status is not a secret. Everything is transparent in the industry.”