The Revenue Tax (I-T) division on Thursday performed raids throughout a number of states towards outstanding media group Dainik Bhaskar in addition to Uttar Pradesh-based TV channel Bharat Samachar for alleged tax evasion, drawing a pointy response from a number of quarters, sources mentioned.
The raids towards the multi-media Dainik Bhaskar group — which has presence in 12 states and runs newspapers in addition to operates radio stations, internet portals and cell phone apps — have been happening in 30 areas, together with Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Noida, sources mentioned. The searches began round 5.30 am and have been occurring until night.
“The group can also be concerned in textiles and mining companies and the division can also be trying into these transactions,” an official mentioned on situation of anonymity.
There was no official phrase from the I-T division or its policy-making physique, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), on the searches focusing on the promoters and staffers of Dainik Bhaskar, and Bharat Samachar.
The problem was raised within the Rajya Sabha. It additionally got here in for extensive condemnation from a number of leaders, together with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, and Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal. “Companies are doing their very own work and there’s no interference in them,” Union minister Anurag Thakur mentioned in response to the criticism. “… one ought to take full info and generally many points come up which can be removed from reality…,” he mentioned, replying to a query on the Congress’ allegation that the raids have been supposed to throttle the voice of democracy.
Each Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar have been crucial of the Covid-19 administration within the nation and completed tales highlighting the failings of authorities and the misery of individuals through the second wave of the pandemic.
Giving particulars of the searches, sources mentioned the premises of Bharat Samachar and its promoters and staffers have been raided in Lucknow.
Bharat Samachar TV mentioned on its official Twitter deal with that searches are being performed on the “home of its Editor-in-chief Brajesh Mishra, state head Virendra Singh, homes of some employees and the channel workplace”.
Tax sleuths additionally raided some premises linked to BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Harraiya meeting seat Ajay Singh and his associates. It was, nonetheless, not instantly clear if the raids have been linked to the media teams.
In Bhopal, personnel of the CRPF and the Madhya Pradesh police have been seen offering safety to tax officers looking out the residential premises of Dainik Bhaskar’s promoters.
The group brings out 65 editions of newspapers and 211 sub-editions in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, in line with info offered on the web site of its dad or mum firm D B Corp. It additionally operates 30 radio stations in seven states and has on-line presence with six internet portals and 4 cell phone apps.
Dainik Bhaskar posted a message on its web site saying the federal government was fearful of its true journalism. From our bodies within the Ganga to Covid deaths, the group that introduced the actual numbers in entrance of the nation is being raided by the federal government, it mentioned in a message in Hindi.
“I’m unbiased as a result of I’m Bhaskar, Solely the readers’ will issues in Bhaskar,” it added.
Senior revenue tax officers within the group haven’t clarified the rationale for these searches until now, it mentioned.
(Solely the headline and film of this report might have been reworked by the Enterprise Customary employees; the remainder of the content material is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)