In a nation-wide raid of epic proportions, the Income Tax department has conducted raids across multiple offices of the Dainik Bhaskar Group across India. The Dainik Bhaskar group or DB Group is one of the largest newspaper groups in India with 66 editions published across India in 4 languages.
According to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ report, Dainik Bhaskar – the primary newspaper of the DB Group is the third-largest newspaper with 4.3 million copies in circulation.
India’s one of the largest newspaper media houses Dainik Bhaskar has come under the scrutiny of the Indian Tax Department. Reportedly, the tax department is conducting raid of a massive scale across multiple locations of the company’s offices – including in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and more.
Income Tax Department is conducting searches on Dainik Bhaskar Group. Searches are going on in connection with tax evasion case, at multiple locations including Promoters’ residences & offices: Sources
— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2021
How did DB Group Fall Under the IT Scanner?
Reportedly, the newspaper giant has come under the scanner of the taxmen after it failed to produce certain required documents to the department regarding a case of tax evasion. According to sources, the Income Tax department carried out the raid after it followed a tip off regarding evasion of tax by the group and its subsidiaries.
Where all are the Raids being Conducted?
While the story is still developing, reports are claiming that the raids are underway at the DB Group’s offices in Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and few cities in Maharashtra. The department is not only carrying raids at the office premises of the group, but also at the residences of select few promoters of the group.
Madhya Pradesh: Visuals from outside the office of Dainik Bhaskar Group in Bhopal
Income Tax Department is conducting searches on Dainik Bhaskar Group in connection with tax evasion case, at multiple locations, as per Sources pic.twitter.com/boH3xLGUUE
— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2021
Opposition Claims Raids A bid to Silence Critics
As the raids are ongoing, the opposition have started alleging that the DB Group was raided as an attempt to silence the free media. Evidently, Dainik Bhaskar had published multiple reports on the alleged “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic during its second wave this year.
Jairam Suresh, Mahua Moitra, Digvijaya Singh Issue Statements
Congress leader and Karnataka representative in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Jairam Suresh took to Twitter and wrote-
“Through its reporting Dainik Bhaskar has exposed the Modi regime’s monumental mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now paying the price.”
The congress leader also made a pun on the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name and added-
“An Undeclared Emergency as Arun Shourie has said — this is a Modified Emergency.”
Opposition leader and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh took to Twitter and said how the raids were an attack on journalism by the Modi-Shah duo. He further alleged that the “Modi-Shah” duo has only two weapons, the IT, ED and CBI.
पत्रकारिता पर मोदीशाह का प्रहार!! मोदीशाह का एक मात्र हथियार IT ED CBI!
मुझे विश्वास है अग्रवाल बंधु डरेंगे नहीं।
दैनिक भास्कर के विभिन्न ठिकानों पर इनकम टैक्स इन्वेस्टिगेशन विंग की छापामार कार्रवाई शुरू…
प्रेस कॉन्प्लेक्स सहित आधा दर्जन स्थानों पर मौजूद है इनकम टैक्स की टीम
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 22, 2021
Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra took to Twitter and wrote-
“IT raids on Dainik Bhaskar offices & promoter homes – post their reporting on devastation of 2nd Covid wave.”
She further added-
“If you don’t crawl like GodiMedia then pay price!”
Is there any Truth to Opposition’s Claims?
While details are still awaited as to how and why the Dainik Bhaskar group came under the scanner of the Indian Tax Department, the opposition above are referring to several stories Bhaskar and its other publications carried on the alleged “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Twitter user by the handle of @AzyConTrolI compiled screenshots of the reports mentioned above. While one report was about the alleged underreporting of the total number of COVID-19 cases by the government, another report was about how Madhya Pradesh witnessed 60 deaths due to lack of oxygen while the state government revealed zero deaths.
IT raids on Dainik Bhaskar Group shows the Dictatorial Attitude of @narendramodi , Dainik Bhaskar was performing its duty of showing the Truth to India but some don't want this to happen because they are scared of it.#dainikbhaskar #IncomeTax pic.twitter.com/Hlg98In4xw
— From United Earth (@SomeoneFromEar7) July 22, 2021