Govt Trying to Suppress Media: Rahul Gandhi on Raids at The Quint
The Income Tax Department searched media baron Raghav Bahl’s home and office on Thursday.
Reacting to the sudden Income Tax raids at The Quint’s office, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the BJP government’s agenda is to “suppress the media”.
“They (the BJP government) will raid, harass, attack and suppress. That’s their agenda... The government is trying to suppress the media.”Rahul Gandhi, Congress President
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Anandh Sharma also tweeted, “Raids on Raghav Bahl is a classic case of how the Modi government is misusing agencies of the state to target those who stand up for the truth.”
Income Tax officers on Thursday, 11 October, entered 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 officer leading the team, they are conducting a “search” on one floor of the office, and a “survey” on the other.
I-T officers are also present at the residence of The Quint’s Editor-in-Chief Raghav Bahl and CEO Ritu Kapur, and the office of Quintype (another company within the same corporate group), and are also conducting a survey at The News Minute (which Quintillion Media holds a stake in) in Bengaluru.
THE QUINT’S RESPONSE
Bahl, who was in Mumbai, said in a statement that he was on his way to Delhi and his wife and mother were confined to the residence and not allowed to speak to anybody.
In a statement to the Editor’s Guild, Mr Bahl has said:
“I have a matter of great concern to share with the Guild. While I was in Mumbai this morning, dozens of IT officials descended on my residence and The Quint’s office for a “survey”. We are a fully tax compliant entity, and will provide all access to all appropriate financial documents. However, I have just spoken to the officer on my premises, one Mr Yadav, and requested him, strongly, to not try and pick up or see any other mail/document which is likely to contain very serious/sensitive journalistic material. If they do that, then we shall seek extremely strong recourse. I do hope the EG will back us on this, and thereby set a precedent for any such exercise that may happen on any other journalistic entity in the future. They should also not misuse their smartphones to take unauthorised copies of this material. I am now on my way back to Delhi.”
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