The CPI today attacked the Centre over the CBI searches at the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, alleging that the action was part of the Narendra Modi government’s plan to curb freedom of expression. Condemning the attempts to “muzzle” the media, the Left party insisted that there should not be any interference in the free functioning of news operations from any quarter. “The party expresses its deep concern over the raids and it is a serious matter. The raid on NDTV is a part of the Modi government’s plan to curb freedom of expression,” the CPI said in a statement. The CBI had yesterday carried out searches at the residence of Roy and registered a case against him, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank. The action of the central agency was termed by the NDTV as a “witch-hunt” and an attempt by the government to silence the media, a charge denied by the CBI spokesman who said the exercise was undertaken after following due process of law.
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Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said there was no political interference in the CBI raids on Roy’s properties and the law was taking its course. Minister of State in the I and B ministry, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, has said that the government was committed to protecting the freedom of expression and freedom of the press and would also ensure that the law of the land prevailed.