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“Attack On Media”: Offices of Dainik Bhaskar Group and Bharat Samachar Raided By IT Officials

Offices of Bharat Samachar, a Hindi digital news channel known for its critical coverage of UP Govt, have also been raided. Raids are on at Bhaskar Group’s offices too. 

 

Indore| Several offices of one of India’s renowned media groups, Dainik Bhaskar are being raided by Income Tax officials, a report in the NDTV said citing sources. According to the report, the Bhaskar group which runs several news dailies has been accused of tax evasion. News agency ANI quoted sources as saying that officials searched Dainik Bhaskar’s office premises in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The houses and offices of the promoters of the group were also raided. Raids are on at Bhaskar Group’s Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Indore offices, a Senior Editor of the Bhaskar group to NDTV.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in a tweet claimed that the Income Tax team is present at half a dozen places including the Press Complex. Calling it Modi Govt’s attack on Journalism, he said, ” Modishah’s only weapon IT ED CBI! I am sure the Agarwal brothers will not be afraid.”

Local media reports have also claimed that offices of Bharat Samachar, the First truly Digital News Outfit of Uttar Pradesh have also been raided. Although no official information has been received from the department or its policy-making body so far, according to official sources, this action is going on against the heads of Hindi media groups operating in different states.

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Along with the offices of Bharat Samachar, the residence of its Editor-In-Chief Brijesh Mishra and State Head Virendra Singh are also being raided by Income Tax officials. “The raids are being conducted to harass us,” said Mishra.

Bharat Samachar is among the popular news channels in UP which is known for its coverage critical of the Central and the state govt under Yogi Adityanath. During the Second Wave of the pandemic, the channel ran extensive coverage from the ground exposing the state’s claim of handling the pandemic well.

 

The raids come at a time when the Monsoon session of the parliament is going on. During the second wave of the Pandemic, Dainik Bhaskar had carried several cover stories focusing on Covid mismanagement in certain BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Recently, it had also published an expose over Madhya Pradesh administering the highest number of Vaccine doses on 21st June- the day the Centre took over the vaccination drive.

The opposition has alleged that the Bhaskar Group is paying the price for bringing the truth of Covid handling of the Modi govt.

Bhaskar in its Covid coverage during April-May published a series, highlighting the immense hardships faced by people due to lack of oxygen, hospital beds and vaccines. Its coverage exposed the horrific condition of bodies of Covid affected people floating in the Ganges river in the towns of UP and Bihar. It also reported on bodies buried in shallow graves on the banks of river Ganga in UP.

 

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