‘Search’ Of A Media House Indicates Clampdown On Free Press
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: 11 October 2018 5:31 pm
Photo Courtesy: thequint.com
Responding to the ‘search’ carried out by Income Tax officials on an independent media house today, Aakar Patel, Amnesty India, said,
“The Income Tax Department’s ‘search’ on Quintillion Media Private Ltd, which runs a news website ‘The Quint’, and the homes of its owners, Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur, indicates a clampdown on free press. It raises disturbing questions on whether the news website is being targeted for speaking truth to power. It appears that the authorities are attempting to silence anyone expressing views that are critical of the government.”
Income tax officials also conducted a ‘survey’ on the website ‘The News Minute’ where Quintillion is an investor.
In her tweet, Poonam Agarwal, Associate Editor, The Quint, said, “IT officers are trying to clone data from @kapur_ritu‘s gadgets. When she screamed and asked me about the law of privacy and whether they can clone her journalistic and personal material, while I was standing outside her residence, two IT officers pulled her inside the house.” (sic)
The Editors Guild of India, an association of newsroom editors, also expressed concern over the ‘search’ and said the government should not exercise “powers in a way that could be seen as an intimidation of the government’s critics”.