The CBI on Monday said raids were underway at the residence of NDTV co-founder and executive co-chairperson Prannoy Roy. The CBI registered a case against Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy, a private company and others for causing an alleged loss to a private bank. The case reportedly relates to a bank loan default of Rs 48 crore taken from ICICI bank. According to the FIR filed, the loan defaulted by NDTV’s Prannoy Roy is for a company named RRPR holdings private limited. Searches are being conducted at four places including Delhi and Dehradun, CBI officials have said.
In a statement issued, NDTV 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.”
We have also reached out to Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy and their comment is awaited.
When asked about the CBI raids, Information and Broadcast Minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters that there is “no witch-hunting” and the law would take its own course. “This government doesn’t believe in interfering. They (CBI) must have some information, that’s why they might have taken steps. Law is taking its own course, there is no witch-hunting at all,” Nadiu said.
On Twitter, NDTV Managing Editor Sreenivsan Jain said: “Message is clear: any independent voices in media will be bullied and shut down. Black day.” NDTV’s Editorial Director Sonia Singh tweeted: “Stand fully with Prannoy & Radhika Roy,the most honest,decent & courageous people I know. We will not be cowed down by false charges.” Executive Editor Nidhi Razdan said: “A message to those in the media who are still independent and do their job by fearlessly asking questions. We won’t be intimidated.”