IT raid on Dainik Bhaskar attempt to suppress voice of media, say political leaders
Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot, and Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to condemn the move
Premises of the Dainik Bhaskar group and Uttar Pradesh-based news channel Bharat Samachar were searched by Income Tax officials in the wee hours of Thursday. Both the media outfits have been accused of tax evasion.
While no official statement was released by the IT Department in this regard, they tweeted saying, “In keeping with the department's protocol, the investigation team only looked into the financial transactions of the group related to tax evasion.”
Denying certain media reports, the department also tweeted, “Certain allegations have appeared in some sections of media that IT Department officials were suggesting changes in stories and taking editorial decisions during their search on offices of a certain publication. These allegations are absolutely false and are categorically denied by the IT Department.”
While the department didn’t spill much about the raids, top leaders took to social media to protest the move.
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said that the ‘income tax raid on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper and Bharat Samachar news channel is a brazen attempt to suppress the voice of the media. The Modi government cannot tolerate even an iota of its criticism. Due to its fascist mentality, the BJP doesn't want to see the truth in a democratic setup.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took to Twitter to protest the move.
Excerpts of her tweet read, “The attack on journalists and media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy. I strongly condemn this vindictive act that aims to suppress voices that bring out the TRUTH. It's a grave violation that undermines the very principles of democracy. Urging everyone in the media to stay strong. Together we shall never let the autocratic forces succeed!”
Delhi Chief Minister also echoed similar thoughts. In his tweet he said the raids were an attempt to scare the media. He urged for the raids to be stopped immediately and requested to let the media operate independently.
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