Raids on media houses attempt to suppress their voice: Gehlot

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Jaipur, Jul 22 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday slammed the Income Tax raids at the offices of media houses, terming them as an attempt to suppress their voice. Civil rights group PUCL also condemned the raids on media house, saying it was an attempt to 'threaten' and suppress media.

The Income Tax Department on Thursday conducted raids against two prominent media groups, Dainik Bhaskar and Uttar Pradesh-based Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar, in multiple cities on charges of tax evasion, official sources said.

Gehlot charged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government cannot tolerate even the slightest criticism. 'Income Tax raids on the offices of Dainik Bhaskar newspaper and Bharat Samachar news channel is an attempt to suppress the media. The Modi government cannot tolerate even the slightest criticism. This is the fascist mentality of the BJP, which does not like to see the mirror of truth in democracy,' he tweeted.

The chief minister charged that by taking such action, the Modi government wants to send a message to media houses that if they are not in their favour then their voices will be crushed. People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Rajasthan strongly condemns the nationwide raid of the Income Tax Department on Dainik Bhaskar newspaper, PUCL president Kavita Srivastava said in a statement.

She alleged that the raids are a 'clear message' from the central government and it is a 'malicious attempt' to teach a lesson to journalists and editors and to 'suppress and intimidate' all other print and electronic media.

Srivastava said that the media organisation had raised various issues, including Pegasus snooping, Ram Janmabhoomi land controversy, oxygen scarcity during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI AG KJ

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