The Income Tax Department has raided the Delhi office of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Phones of employees have been seized, according to sources. Employees have also been asked to leave the office and go home early.
The Income Tax Department’s Delhi team is also monitoring the BBC premises in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) area. The Congress party took a jibe at the Centre for IT raids on BBC premises. The Congress tweeted in Hindi, “First came the BBC documentary, it was banned. Now IT has raided BBC. Undeclared emergency.”
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh also took potshots at the current government and said, “Here, we are demanding a JPC in Adani’s case and there, the government is after BBC.”
The BBC came into the news recently due to their contentious documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi– ‘India: The Modi Question’. The documentary charts Prime Minister Modi’s tenure as the Gujarat Chief Minister during the Gujarat riots in 2002. It also questioned his leadership during the riots.
The government ordered Twitter and YouTube to block any links to the documentary and forbade people from posting snippets on social media, invoking emergency powers under its information technology laws. It labeled the BBC’s documentary as a ‘propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative.’
The Ministry of External Affairs dismissed the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and exhibits a colonial attitude. Meanwhile, UK MP Bob Blackman said the BBC documentary is “completely exaggerated” and does not represent the views of the British government.
Blackman said while speaking to News18, “BBC does not represent views of the British government. The documentary is a hatchet job.” He added the documentary is a “result of poor journalism, is badly researched and completely unjustified.”