Income Tax Department has conducted searches at offices of media entity Dainik Bhaskar in several locations across the country over alleged tax evasion.

According to people in the know, raids have been conducted at Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad offices of Dainik Bhaskar group.

Search operations also took place in the residences and offices of the promoters of the group.

Further, raids were also conducted in the office of Bharat Samachar, an Uttar Pradesh-based news channel. Search operations were conducted at its Lucknow office and the editor's residence.

Sources said the raids were based on "evidence of tax fraud" by the channel.

The raids come at a time when the media group off late has published a number of stories on the severe impact and the deaths caused by the second wave of Covid-19 and talked about the handling of the situation by the government.

Criticising the government for "using ED and IT as weapons", former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took to Twitter and said that income tax officials are present at around 6 premises of Dainik Bhaskar group, including its office at Press Complex in Bhopal.

Similarly, Bharat Samachar's recent reporting has also been critical of the Uttar Pradesh government. The channel has gone on air to say the raid is an attack on free press.