IT raids on media houses: Opposition says media gagged, agencies ‘doing their work’ I&B minister clarifies | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that the investigation agencies are “doing their work” and that there is “no (government) interference in it”.
Speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet briefing in the national capital, Thakur said attempted to brush aside opposition-led criticism of the IT raids as “motivated”. He said, “One should take complete information and in its absence sometimes many issues come up that are far from the truth…”.
Thakur’s defence came even as the income tax department conducted multi-city raids against the Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar, triggering criticism from journalist organisations and political leaders.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee slammed the Modi government for its “vindictive action” against the media, which she said undermines the very principles of democracy.
“The attack on journalists and 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 said, urging that the fight against “autocratic forces” will be fought jointly.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot also criticised the raids on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper and Bharat Samachar. “Modi government cannot tolerate even an iota of its criticism. Due to its fascist mentality, the BJP doesn’t want to see the truth in a democratic setup….By indulging in such actions and gagging media, the Modi government wants to convey the message that if the media doesn’t become Godi-Media then it’s voice will be suppressed,” he said.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said the IT raids reflected that the government was trying to scare the media. “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. These raids should be stopped immediately and the media should be allowed to work freely,” Kejriwal said.
“There was a time when frank, free and fearless reporting was admired, and could intimidate wrongdoers in govts. Now the intimidation comes from the Govt, and dissimulation, discretion and defanging are the new watchwords. India needs papers like #DainikBhaskar to flourish. I stand w/them,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said.
Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, on the other hand, said the IT were a disturbing development and a matter of concern for Indian democracy. “Freedom of media to report is essential to inform and sensitize public opinion. Attempts to muzzle the media are unacceptable,” he says.
Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi, said that while Israel and France ordered a probe on the Pegasus spyware, Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah “silenced media houses” and ushered in “Dictator raj” in India.
BSP MP Kunwar Danish Ali said, “The country is well aware of the chronology of income tax raids on the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar. These raids reflect the desperation, shamelessness and cowardice of the government. There are only a few institutions remaining in the world’s largest democracy, which they are trying to demolish to set up an autocratic rule.”
“The Press Club of India deplores such acts of intimidation by the government through enforcement agencies to deter the independent media from discharging their duty to serve the society,” the Press Club said on Twitter.





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