Looked at only financial transactions of Dainik Bhaskar group, not editorial content: IT Dept

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New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The Income Tax Department on Thursday rejected allegations that its officials 'suggested changes' in news stories while they conducted raids at multiple offices of the Dainik Bhaskar media group on tax evasion charges.

The department issued a series of three tweets, saying its teams only looked into financial documents during the searches.

'Certain allegations have appeared in some sections of media that IT Dept officials were suggesting changes in stories & taking editorial decisions during their search on offices of a certain publication.

'These allegations are absolutely false & are categorically denied by IT Dept,' the IT Department tweeted.

In keeping with the department's protocol, it said, the investigation team 'only looked into the financial transactions of the group related to tax evasion'.

The tweets by the tax department also referred to the comments made in this context by one of the national editors of the group to some television news channels.

'Shri Om Gaur is based in Lucknow as per his interview to media. It is emphasised that Lucknow office of the publication was not searched by the Income Tax team.' 'Sh Om Gaur was not even questioned. The allegations being made have no basis & in fact seem to be highly motivated,' the department said.

The IT Department conducted raids across several states against the Dainik Bhaskar group as well as Uttar Pradesh-based TV channel Bharat Samachar for alleged tax evasion, drawing a sharp response from several quarters, including an uproar in Rajya Sabha.

The raids against the multi-media Dainik Bhaskar group, which has a presence in 12 states and runs newspapers as well as operates radio stations, web portals and mobile phone applications, were taking place in 30 locations, including Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Noida, sources said. PTI NES SKL KJ

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