The Indian High Commission in Australia came down heavily on daily newspaper The Australian on Monday for publishing a report on India's COVID-19 crisis, which strongly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of the pandemic.

The report, titled 'Modi leads India out of lockdown... and into a viral apocalypse', said that election rallies, Kumbh Mela, ignorance of experts' advice and shortage of medical supplies were the main contributors to the rising COVID cases in the country. 

"Urge @australian to publish the rejoinder to set the record straight on the covid management in India and also refrain from publishing such baseless articles in future," the official account of High Commission tweeted on Monday along with a letter to Christopher Dore, the editor-in-chief of The Australian.

The letter said the published article was a "baseless, malicious and slanderous" report, "the sole objective of which was to undermine the universally acclaimed approach taken by the Government of India to fight the pandemic".

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It also slammed The Australian for blaming Modi's "restricted election campaigns" and one religious gathering for the COVID surge in the country.

Notably, India's COVID crisis has caught the attention of global media and there were features on the first pages of top newspapers across the globe this week.

India is witnessing the second and more lethal wave of the deadly pandemic, which has killed 195,123 and has infected 17,313,163 people until now. The nation has been recording over 3 lakh cases every single day for over a week.