NEW DELHI: The CBI’s extraordinary raids on the houses of the NDTV promoter and veteran journalist Prannoy Roy has come just days after the channel’s anchor, Nidhi Razdan, had on-air altercation with a BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra.
Razdan had told Patra to leave the show if he did not apologise after he accused the NDTV of spreading misinformation with an agenda.
A defiant NDTV, meanwhile, posted a message on its website promising to fight ‘the attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India.’
Its 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.”
The raids on Roy evoked angry reactions from journalists, historian and social activists, all of whom dubbed it an undeclared emergency.
Here are some of the reactions:
Seems the long daggers are out after the Sambit Patra – Nidhi Razdan showdown. Way to go New India! https://t.co/520HAuV9y4
— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) June 5, 2017
Raids on NDTV take place 3 days after BJP spokesman is asked to leave Razdan's show. The message is clear. Govt intimidating the media https://t.co/e0J0gTmj4y
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) June 5, 2017
Raid on @PrannoyRoyNDTV for a 2010 case in 2017? CBI/IT must put details in public fora else will face charge of vendetta against media.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 5, 2017
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) June 5, 2017
A message to those in the media who are still independent and do their job by fearlessly asking questions. We won't be intimidated https://t.co/sNC7pEPnOW
— Nidhi Razdan (@RazdanNidhi) June 5, 2017
The duty of a free media is to question and to report. If the price is harassment and attempted intimidation then so be it.
— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) June 5, 2017
What sort of an India do we really want ? One where the govt snuffs out our right to ask questions ? Is this democracy? Is this freedom?
— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) June 5, 2017
Prannoy Roy of NDTV being raided by IT Dept. India officially a Goonda Raj, anyone critical of govt will be crushed by official machinery.
— Ajai Shukla (@ajaishukla) June 5, 2017
— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) June 5, 2017