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Thursday, June 8, 2023

BBC India Offices Raided by Tax Authorities Following PM Modi Documentary

BBC's office in New Delhi has been sealed by the police

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

INDIA: BBC’s offices in Mumbai and New Delhi were raided by Indian tax authorities weeks after the broadcaster produced and aired Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-part documentary that alleged his involvement during the deadly sectarian riots in 2002.

PM Modi was alleged for ordering police to turn a blind eye to the sectarian riots in Gujarat when he was the Chief Minister of the state. The violence left nearly 1,000 people dead, most of whom were minority Muslims.

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A Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman, Gaurav Bhatia, has accused the broadcaster of their “anti-India” propaganda denoting that the raids were lawful.

He said, “India is a country which allows every organisation as long as you don’t spew venom.” He also posed the question, “If you have been following the law of the country, if you have nothing to hide, why to be afraid of an action that is according to the law?”

BBC tweeted that they are cooperating with tax officials

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Full cooperation was ensured with the authorities by the broadcaster. In a statement on Twitter, the broadcaster said, “The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai,” adding, “We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible.”

BBC’s office in New Delhi has been sealed by the police, occupying two high-rise floors on an avenue strewn with leaves in the heart of the capital’s commercial hub. A BBC employee who is New Delhi based said that all their phones had been confiscated during the tax raid. 

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Indian government blocked all possible news and video links to the documentary that was not aired in India owing to the emergency powers under its information technology laws. 

As a form of protest, university students have screened the documentary despite campus bans. The police arrested 24 students from the prestigious Delhi University after they interrupted the screening in late January. 

On Tuesday, the Editor’s Guild of India said that the tax raids were a “trend of using government agencies to intimidate or harass press organisations that are critical of government policies”.

Also Read: PM Modi Opens Mega Expressway in Rajasthan Ahead of Elections


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