Offices of popular Hindi newspaper – Dainik Bhaskar, in different cities, were, on Thursday, raided by sleuths of the Income Tax Department. 

The raids were conducted at several places in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. 

Meanwhile, management of Dainik Bhaskar newspaper has said that the raids have been conducted at the offices of the Hindi daily because it had put out the “true picture of the government’s inefficiency before the country during the second wave of COVID-19?. 

“Officials involved in the raids said this was part of the process and they will be released after panchmana proceedings are done,” the newspaper said. 

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Notably, Dainik Bhaskar has been an ardent critic of the BJP-led Central Government over ‘mismanagement’ of the second wave of COVID-19. 

The newspaper had published a number of stories on deaths during the second wave of the pandemic and bodies being dumped in River Ganga. 

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has condemned the raids saying that the media group is “paying the price” for its coverage of the pandemic. 

“Through its reporting Dainik Bhaskar has exposed the Modi regime’s monumental mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now paying the price. An Undeclared Emergency as Arun Shourie has said — this is a Modified Emergency,” Jairam Ramesh tweeted. 

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Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted in Hindi: “The income tax raids on the offices of Dainik Bhaskar newspaper and Bharat Samachar news channel are efforts to stifle the media. The Modi government can’t tolerate even slight criticism of itself. This is the fascist mentality of the BJP which doesn’t like to see the mirror of truth in a democracy.” 

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “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.” 

She added: “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 CM Arvind Kejriwal said: “The message is clear – those who speak against the BJP government will not be spared. Such thinking is very dangerous. Everyone should raise their voice against it.”  

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