Media groups persecuted for exposing mishandling of Covid crisis: SAD on IT raids

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Chandigarh, Jul 22 (PTI) SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday condemned income tax raids on media groups Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar, saying they are being 'persecuted for exposing' the NDA government's 'mishandling' of the Covid pandemic. The Income Tax Department on Thursday conducted raids against the media groups in multiple cities on charges of tax evasion, official sources said.

In a statement here, the Shiromani Akali Dal president said it was condemnable that the NDA government had 'targeted' Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar because they had posed tough questions to the government in keeping with high standards of journalism.

They are being 'persecuted for exposing' the NDA government's 'mishandling' of the Covid pandemic, he said.

'The Union government should not try to muzzle the freedom of the press in this manner. The SAD stands resolutely in solidarity with the media in this hour of crisis,' said Badal.

Badal said the Centre should respond positively to criticism on sensitive issues like the Covid 'mismanagement' as they reflected the sentiments of people.

Asking the NDA government to bring about a course correction in its functioning, the SAD president said the government was also following a 'vindictive' approach towards farmers solely because they had questioned its policies.

'Farmers have rightly questioned the logic behind bringing in the three agricultural laws which help only corporations and will result in the corporatisation of agriculture in the country. Instead of listening to the farmers and resolving their grievances, the Centre is adopting an intransigent attitude towards them,' he said. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK

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