The Congress on Tuesday alleged that the raids on journalists linked with online portal NewsClick was a "fresh distraction" from the "explosive" findings of the caste survey in Bihar and the growing demand for a caste census across the country.
Delhi Police's Special Cell on Tuesday morning conducted raids at 30 premises connected with NewsClick as well as its journalists' houses, triggering outrage among scribes.
Congress' media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said the early morning raids on contributing journalists at Newsclick comes as a "fresh distraction from the explosive findings of caste census in Bihar and the growing demand for caste census across the country".
"When he faces questions from out of syllabus, he resorts to the only counter he has in his predictable syllabus - DISTRACTION," Khera said on X.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed the government over the action against the portal, saying these are not the actions of a "mother of democracy" but of an "insecure and autocratic state".
"Why does a government as strong and authoritarian as this one is, feel threatened by a news website? And that too, one that is not even ranked very high in reach or readership? Intolerance is unworthy of everything that India represents," Tharoor said.
"The government has disgraced itself and our democracy today," he said in a post on X.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate also slammed the government over the raids.
"Despite an army of sycophants, some journalists still dare to speak the truth.But the Prime Minister has a special problem with those who speak the truth and those who ask questions," she alleged.
"So they will be raided, intimidated – but Saheb forgets that not everyone's spine is missing as is the case with sycophants," Shrinate said in a post in Hindi on X.
The Congress leaders' remarks come a day after the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar released findings of its much-awaited caste survey months ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary elections, which revealed that OBCs and EBCs constitute a whopping 63 per cent of the state's total population.
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier conducted raids at the firm's premises probing its sources of funding. The Special Cell is now raiding the media firm on the basis of inputs provided by the central agency.
The Special Cell has registered a new case and started an investigation, officials said.
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