New Delhi, June 5: As the Central Bureau of Investigation carried out raids at the premises of NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy, the television news channel called it a witch-hunt, while the Narendra Modi government denied the claims. Commenting on NDTV’s statement calling raids on Roy’s residences in Delhi, Dhradun and Mussoorie a witch-hunt, Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said, “Law is taking its own course, there is no witch-hunting at all. This government doesn’t believe in interfering. They (CBI) must have some information, that’s why they might have taken steps.”Also Read - Rajinikanth Thanks Bus Driver Friend, Tamil People as he Gets Standing Ovation on Winning Dadasaheb Phalke Award - Full Winning Speech
Naidu’s statement came after NDTV, in a statement, said, “This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations. NDTV and its promoters will fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies. We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India. We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces.” Also Read - China Objects to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's Visit to Arunachal Pradesh
The raids also became a war of words between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, “Fear of law is necessary and it should be applied no matter who you are.” On the other hand, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh condemned the raids and tweeted, “It was a step by the Modi government to curb freedom of the Press.” Also Read - ED Raids Former Karnataka Minister Roshan Baig, Congress MLA Zameer Over IMA Ponzi Scam
On Monday, the CBI reportedly conducted raids at co-founder and executive co-chairperson of NDTV Prannoy Roy’s residence in the national capital and two other cities for allegedly causing loss to a bank. The CBI has registered a case against Prannoy Roy, his wife Radhika, a private company and others for causing an alleged loss to ICICI bank to the tune of Rs 48 crore, reports said.
The CBI said that searches are being conducted at four places in Delhi, Dehradun and Mussorie. Roy’s residence is in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash area. According to ANI, caretakers at Prannoy Roy’s house in Dehradun said 6-7 people from the CBI came in the morning and searched the house.