The Income Tax department is conducting searches against two prominent media group houses Dainik Bhaskar's and Uttar Pradesh-based Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar's offices on charges of tax evasion.
The searches in the case of Dainik Bhaskar are being conducted in Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and some other locations in the country. Searches are going on in connection with a tax evasion case, at multiple locations including Promoters' residences and offices, ANI reported citing sources.
The premises of TV news channel Bharat Samachar group and its promoters and staffers in Lucknow were similarly searched, they said.
Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh said on Twitter that tax officials "are present" at half a dozen premises of the group, including at its office at Press Complex in state capital Bhopal.
Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for an hour on Thursday after opposition members tried to raise the issues of income tax raids on the newspaper group Dainik Bhaskar.
Troops of central paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Madhya Pradesh police personnel were seen providing security to the IT teams in Bhopal.
The two media groups had published a series of stories critical of the COVID-19 management and deaths in the second wave of the pandemic and the bodies dumped in the Ganga River that was found floating the river while some washed up on the banks of the river in Uttar Pradesh.
Condemning the raids, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said: "Income Tax raid on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper & Bharat Samachar news channel is a brazen attempt to suppress the voice of media. 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."