The Income Tax Department on Thursday raided the offices of two well-known media outlets- Dainik Bhaskar group and TV channel Bharat Samachar over tax evasion. The sources of the Income Tax department said the raids were carried out in several cities.
These media outlets have been critical of the government’s policies to fight the coronavirus pandemic. They have not only reported about the dead bodies floating in the river Ganges which are suspected to be the victims of coronavirus but also on the shortages of oxygen cylinders and hospital beds during the second wave of COVID-19.
Therefore, several media rights groups and opposition lawmakers have said that the raid was an intentional attack on press freedom.
Both the media outlets have blamed the government for deliberately attacking them for their reporting during the pandemic.
Om Gaur, Dainik Bhaskar’s national editor while speaking to the Washington Post said: “The raid is the outcome of our aggressive reporting.”
Bharat Samachar in a Twitter post said: “The more you throttle us, the louder we will speak the truth.”
In the last five years, multiple media outlets have been targeted by the government in order to create a hostile atmosphere for reporting news that criticises the government, raising concerns about freedom of the press in a democracy.