Editors Guild expresses concern
New Delhi, Jul 23 : A day after the Income Tax Department conducted searches in several offices of the Dainik Bhaskar group, residences of its promoters, and the office of the Lucknow-based Bharat Samachar news channel, the Editors Guild of India expressed concern over “Government agencies being used as a coercive tool to suppress free and independent journalism”.
“This is all the more disturbing given the recent media reports on the widespread surveillance of journalists and civil society activists using the Pegasus software,” a statement from the EGI stated.
EGI mentioned that it is concerned about the raids “at the offices of country’s leading newspaper group, Dainik Bhaskar, as well as a Lucknow based independent news channel, Bharat Samachar” and stated that they “come against the backdrop of in depth reporting on the pandemic by Dainik Bhaskar, which brought to fore the gross mismanagement by Government authorities and the immense loss of human lives”.
“In a recent webinar hosted by the Guild, Om Gaur, the National Editor of Bhaskar had stated that their advertising from Government departments had been cut after the recent critical coverage of State authorities. He had also written an op-ed in the New York Times, headlined ‘The Ganges Is Returning the Dead. It Does Not Lie’,” the statement further noted. Regarding Bharat Samachar, the Guild said that it too “has been subjected to raids by the tax authorities” and termed it as “one of the few channels in UP that has been asking difficult questions from the State Government with respect to pandemic management. The Indian Express