New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) reportedly raided four locations in New Delhi and Dehradun related to NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika. The agency allegedly raided the properties in connection with a bank fraud.
The searches have sent shockwaves across the country as it is being seen as a direct attack on media in the country. NDTV is among the very few dissenting voices still talking about media freedom and taking note of attacks taking places against civil liberties across the country.
A Hindustan Times report claims that the NDTV offices were not directly raided by the CBI. Instead many officers related to RRPR Holding Private Ltd, the promoter company of the English and Hindi news channels, were searched. Till the writing of this report, the offices were still being searched.
In a statement posted on its website, NDTV said, “This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations”.
The NDTV statement went on to claim that the efforts to browbeat and force it into submission and toe government line will not bear fruit. “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”, the statement added.
The NDTV promoters looked defiant in the wake of the CBI raid. The statement went on to add, “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”.
Reports suggest that the central investigative agency last week registered a case into alleged irregularities in a 2008 loan that the holding company took from ICICI Bank. The company took a loan of Rs 366 crore allegedly on personal guarantees of the promoters and settled for a repayment a year later that was Rs 50 crore less than the loaned amount, CBI sources said.