NEW DELHI: Indian tax authorities on Thursday raided a prominent newspaper and a TV channel that have been critical of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, triggering accusations of intimidation.
There was no official comment from authorities on the raids against Hindi-language daily Dainik Bhaskar and the Bharat Samachar channel but local media quoted unnamed tax officials as saying they had "conclusive evidence of fraud".
Boasting a readership of millions, Bhaskar has carried a series of reports on the devastation caused by the pandemic in April and May and criticised the government's management of the crisis.
The daily said on its website Thursday in response to the raids that in the last six months it had sought to "put the real situation in front of the country".
"Be it the matter of (throwing) dead bodies in the Ganges or... hiding deaths due to corona, Bhaskar showed fearless journalism," it said.
At the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, families in India's north and east gave up the bodies of their loved ones to the river or buried them in shallow graves on its banks, likely unable to afford the cost of funeral pyres.