Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday termed the Income Tax Department raids at media baron Raghav Bahl's home and the office of his news portal ‘The Quint’ in Noida a brazen attempt of the Narendra Modi government to “suppress freedom of speech”.
“They (The BJP government) will raid, harass, attack and suppress. That’s their agenda... The government is trying to suppress the media," Gandhi said while addressing a press briefing in Delhi.
The sleuths of the IT Department entered the Noida office of the Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd, which runs the news website ‘The Quint’ and is owned by Bahl.
According to the website, the Income Tax officer who was leading the team told ‘The Quint’ that they were conducting a “search” on one floor and “survey” on the other. The raids were also conducted at the residence of The Quint’s Editor-in-Chief Raghav Bahl and CEO Ritu kapur.
“I have a matter of great concern to share with the Guild. While I was in Mumbai this morning, dozens of IT officials descended on my residence and The Quint’s office for a “survey”. We are a fully tax compliant entity, and will provide all access to all appropriate financial documents,” Bahl said in a statement to the Editor’s Guild.
“However, I have just spoken to the officer on my premises, one Mr Yadav, and requested him, strongly, to not try and pick up or see any other mail/document which is likely to contain very serious/sensitive journalistic material. If they do that, then we shall seek extremely strong recourse,” he added further.