A few income tax (I-T) officials on Thursday, 11 October, conducted a 22-hour-long raid ending on Friday morning at the office of Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd in Noida, which runs the website The Quint, and is owned by Raghav Bahl.
According to the I-T official leading the team, they are conducting a “search” on one floor of the office, and a “survey” on the other. Simultaneous raids were carried out at Bahl’s residence and The News Minute’s office.
Journalists from across the country condemned the raid – terming it “intimidation” – and demanded that the government “explain” the reasons behind the same. They termed it an “attack on the freedom of press.”
Former journalist and politician Ashutosh and advocate Prashant Bhushan claimed that Bahl was targeted for “criticising the Modi government.”
Senior journalist and NDTV India editor Ravish Kumar, too, condemned the raids. In a Facebook post, he said:
Senior journalist and India Today’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai asked if the government was targeting ‘non-godi’ media.
‘Beyond Outrageous, Should Be Legally Challenged’
The I-T officers during raids at Bahl’s residence attempted to clone data from Ritu Kapur’s gadgets. This is not authorised under the powers of the survey. Journalists termed this action an attack on press freedom, calling it beyond “outrageous.”