'Agencies Being Used as Coercive Tool': Editors Guild on Dainik Bhaskar IT Raids

The Income Tax Dept had conducted raids at locations linked to Dainik Bhaskar Group and Bharat Samachar on Thursday.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Raids were conducted by the Income Tax Department at various locations of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, officials told PTI on Thursday, 22 July.</p></div>

The Editors Guild of India on Friday, 23 July, expressed concern over the raids conducted by the Income Tax Department at various locations linked to the Dainik Bhaskar Group and news channel Bharat Samachar a day before, saying, “Notwithstanding the merits of the case, the timing of these raids is concerning given the recent critical coverage by both the organisations.”

The body expressed concern 'that government agencies are being used as a coercive tool to suppress free and independent journalism'.

“This is all the more disturbing given the recent media reports on the wide spread surveillance of journalists and civil society activists using the Pegasus software,” it added.

“In a recent webinar hosted by the Guild, Om Gaur, the National Editor of Bhaskar had stated that their advertising from government departments had been cut after the recent critical coverage of state authorities.”
Editors Guild of India

'Will Run Only at the Discretion of Readers'

Reacting to the the raids, Dainik Bhaskar on Thursday termed themselves as presenting a true picture of the government’s flaws and said that the latter was afraid of their journalism.

They also put out a tweet in Hindi, which read, “I am free, because I am Bhaskar. Bhaskar will run only at the discretion of the readers.”

The I-T searches were conducted in Bhopal, Jaipur and various other locations.

Dainik Bhaskar, the largest circulated daily with 65 editions, has been relentlessly covering the pandemic from ground zero. From Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh to Rajasthan, the newspaper has been publishing hard-hitting stories, bringing to the fore how the second wave of the pandemic crippled India.

Meanwhile, news channel Bharat Samachar had been reportedly critical of the UP government in its coverage of lately.

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