New Delhi: Opposing the Income Tax raids on various premises of prominent media group Dainik Bhaskar, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said, “writing the truth with ink on paper is enough to scare a weak government.” The Income Tax Department conducted raids against the media group in various cities on charges of tax evasion. The searches were conducted in Dainik Bhaskar’s offices in Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Noida and many other locations in the country, sources said. The department also conducted searches at the premises of Uttar Pradesh-based Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar in Lucknow.
काग़ज़ पर स्याही से सच लिखना, एक कमज़ोर सरकार को डराने के लिए काफ़ी है।#RaidOnFreePress
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 22, 2021
Both the media houses had recently published reports critical of the Centre’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the second wave that swept through the country in April-May.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi, many Chief Minister’s and several other opposition leaders denounced the raids on media outlets. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee posted on Twitter saying, “The attack on journalists and media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy. #DainikBhaskar bravely reported the way. @narendramodi ji mishandled the entire #COVID crisis and led the country to its most horrifying days amid raging pandemic.”
Banerjee also said, “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!”
The attack on journalists & media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy.#DainikBhaskar bravely reported the way @narendramodi ji mishandled the entire #COVID crisis and led the country to its most horrifying days amid a raging pandemic. (1/2)
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 22, 2021
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Dainik Bhaskar, through its reporting has exposed the Modi regime’s monumental mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic. He further added that it is now paying the price; an Undeclared Emergency as Arun Shourie has said – this is a Modified Emergency.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, responding to the charge said, “Agencies do their own work, we don’t interfere in their functioning. I would also like to say that facts need to be found before reporting about any incident. Sometimes lack of information is misleading.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted saying, “By indulging in such actions and gagging media, the Modi government wants to convey the message that if the media doesn’t become Godi-Media then it’s voice will be suppressed.”
Gehlot further said Income Tax raid on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper & Bharat Samachar news channel is a brazen attempt to suppress the voice of media. 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.
Income Tax raid on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper & Bharat Samachar news channel is a brazen attempt to suppress the voice of media. 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.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) July 22, 2021
“The message is clear – whoever speaks against the BJP government will not be spared. This is a dangerous mentality. All should raise their voice against this. These raids should be stopped immediately and the media should be allowed to function freely,” Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.