New Delhi: Media group Dainik Bhaskar and an Uttar Pradesh-based news channel were raided by Income Tax department on the allegations of tax evasion.
Around 100 taxmen searched 30 locations of Dainik Bhaskar in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The homes and offices of the group’s promoters were also raided.
An Uttar Pradesh television channel, Bharat Samachar, was also raided. An Income Tax team searched the Lucknow office and also the editor’s home to examine tax documents.
Following this, opposition parties alleged that news outlets critical to the government were being targeted.
Three Chief Ministers were among those who denounced the raids.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a brutal attempt to stifle democracy. The government could not tolerate even “an iota” of criticism, wrote Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said the raids were an attempt to terrorise the media.
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra posted: “IT raids on Dainik Bhaskar offices & promoter homes – post their reporting on devastation of 2nd Covid wave. If you don’t crawl like GodiMedia then pay price!”
Dainik Bhaskar was at the forefront of reporting on the scale of devastation in the second wave of Covid in April-May. On the other hand, the news channel Bharat Samachar in its reports on the Covid crisis was critical of the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government.