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India continues to purge independent media

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NEW DELHI, India: Along with Muslims and farmers, the Indian independent media is struggling to survive as well in the Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi’s regime as its coercive tactics being applied to silence dissent voices continue to escalate unabated.

The Indian independent online news outlet “The Wire” reported on Friday that the Income Tax Department earlier in the morning conducted “surveys” at the south Delhi Offices of two online media portals – “NewsClick” and “Newslaundry”.

Citing sources at NewsClick, The Wire reported that the phones of all employees of both the media organizations who were in office had been turned off, and those working from home were not able to establish contact with their colleagues.

“There is a search and seizure order, so the phones of all persons present in the office have been seized, making it difficult to get any information,” The Wire reported quoting a senior NewsClick employee who was working from home.

Whereas an employee at the Newslaundry Office told The Wire that the news organization’s “financial records are being checked”.

Earlier in February 2021, the New Delhi’s Enforcement Directorate raided NewsClick Offices and Editors’ residences in connection with an alleged money laundering case, prompting strong condemnation from several media groups, saying that it was an attempt to silence critical journalism, and to intimidate those who do not toe the official line.

Later in July, the IT Department raided premises linked to the Dainik Bhaskar Group and Bhaskar Samachar Channel allegedly for their in-depth coverage of the second COVID-19 wave.

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