Bid to quash democracy's 4th pillar: Nath on tax raids

Kamal Nath terms tax raids on media groups bid to suppress democracy's 'fourth pillar'

The searches against Dainik Bhaskar are being conducted in Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Noida and other locations

Kamal Nath file photo. Credit: PTI Photo

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath on Thursday said the tax raids on Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar media groups on charges of tax evasion were an attempt by the central government to suppress the "fourth pillar of democracy" and prevent truth from coming out.

The searches against Dainik Bhaskar are being conducted in Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Noida and some other locations in the country.

The premises of the Uttar Pradesh-based news channel Bharat Samachar and its promoters and staffers were raided in Lucknow, they said. There was no official word from the Income Tax Department or its policy-making body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), on the raids.

Read more: Plea in SC seeks court-monitored probe into Pegasus snooping scandal

Hitting out at the Centre over the raids, Nath in a tweet said, "An attempt to suppress the fourth estate of democracy and to prevent truth from coming out is being made from the beginning during Modi government's rule.”

He pointed out that in the Pegasus snooping case also, many media houses and people associated with them have been targeted in large numbers.

"Now the work to suppress the Dainik Bhaskar group, which is publishing truth all over the country and exposing the government continuously, has started?” Nath tweeted.

“In order to prevent the truth from coming out, this government is misusing the ED, I-T and other agencies from the beginning and this work is going on even today?” Nath added.

“Lekin dhyan rakhen, satya pareshan ho sakta hai, lekin parajit nahin" (but remember, truth can get troubled, but cannot be defeated), he said in another tweet.

Congress veteran and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh said on Twitter that tax officials "are present" at half-a-dozen premises of the Dainik Bhaskar group, including at its office at the Press Complex in Bhopal.

Sources said the action against the Bhaskar group included searches at the residential locations of its promoters in Madhya Pradesh's capital city of Bhopal. Eyewitnesses in the MP Nagar Zone-1 area here, where the Press Complex is located, said security personnel did not allow many employees of the media group (Bhaskar) were not allowed to enter the office premises.

The raiding team arrived around 4 am in vehicles, mostly having Maharashtra (MH) registration numbers, they said.

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