After being by Income Tax authorities on Thursday morning, Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar stood their ground and strongly reiterated to the government that they will not be intimidated into not reporting the truth.
Bhaskar an article soon after the raids accusing the government of going after the Hindi daily for critically covering the government’s mishandling of the second Covid wave. “The government is scared of true journalism,” the daily said in the headline of the article, which emphasised its work reporting on dead bodies floating in the Ganga river and showing the official Covid death figures were not accurate.
Notably, the article was published after being shown to the officials conducting the raid. This was done because the Income Tax sleuths had told Bhaskar journalists that they would check what was being published before it went up.
“Why is the government afraid of our journalism?” the article asked. “Just look at some examples.” It went on to provide a sample of the newspaper’s reportage on the second Covid wave, including stories about dead bodies being buried along the Ganga banks, a factcheck of the government’s assertion that no death due to oxygen shortage had been reported in the second wave, vaccine wastage in Rajasthan, the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust land scandal, underreporting of deaths in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, rising unemployment and inflation in the country.
Bharat Samachar, a TV news channel based in Lucknow, also at the government, pledging that the more their voices were stifled, the louder they would speak the truth. They were not scared by the raids, the channel said in a statement, and would continue speaking the truth, no matter what.