The Income Tax Department conducted searches on 22 July at the offices of the Dainik Bhaskar Group across the country for alleged tax evasion, officials said.
The searches were conducted at the residential and office premises of its promoters across 32 locations in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Gujarat. No official statement was issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), but tax officials confirmed the searches against the media group.
Meanwhile the Dainik Bhaskar Group issued a response after the Income Tax department raided its offices.
Through a video on its website, the group stated that the raid had taken place after its journalists tried revealing the true number of deaths caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The video claims that the Government is afraid of true journalism.
In a statement, Dainik Bhaskar said the Income Tax searches were the result of its aggressive and fearless journalism on mismanagement during the second Covid-19 wave — it had done a series of stories on deaths during the second wave, and of bodies being dumped along the Ganga.
“The officials took mobiles and laptops of the night shift workers present in the offices. Due to this, the work of digital news was affected for several hours,” it said.
The I-T department raided Dainik Bhaskar offices in Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra along with some of the team members' houses. Apart from the flagship Dainik Bhaskar newspaper published in Hindi, the company also publishes newspapers in Gujarati and Marathi, has five portals and four apps.
On its website, DB Infrastructures states: “DB Infrastructures is promoted by Dainik Bhaskar group , which is originally a media conglomerate, but diversified into real estate/infrastructure, power, and textile business sector”.
The Dainik Bhaskar video can be viewed here.