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Editors Guild expresses concern over I-T raids on Dainik Bhaskar

IT officials during the raids at the residence of Dainik Bhaskar Group MD, in Bhopal.   | Photo Credit: A.M. Faruqui

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Friday expressed concern over the Income Tax raids on the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar on Thursday.

“They [raids] come against the backdrop of in depth reporting on the pandemic by Dainik Bhaskar, which brought to fore the gross mismanagement by government authorities and the immense loss of human lives,” an EGI statement said.

The national editor of Dainik Bhaskar, Om Gaur, had said during a recent webinar that government advertising had been cut after the critical coverage, the EGI noted. Mr. Gaur had also written an Op-Ed in The New York Times on the second wave of the pandemic, titled “The Ganges is Returning the Dead. It Does Not Lie”.

Bharat Samachar, too, has been subjected to raids by the tax authorities. It is one of the few channels in Uttar Pradesh that has been asking difficult questions from the state government with respect to pandemic management. Notwithstanding the merits of the case, the timing of these raids is concerning given the recent critical coverage by both the organisations,” the EGI said.

The guild said the Enforcement Directorate had conducted raids on the office of NewsClick.in in February 2021. The news portal had been reporting on the farmers’ protests and the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

“EGI is therefore concerned 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,” the statement read.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 2:14:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/editors-guild-expresses-concern-over-i-t-raids-on-dainik-bhaskar/article35489120.ece

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