Modi documentary row: Centre draws flak from Opposition parties, scribes after I-T raids on BBC offices

Modi documentary row: Centre draws flak from Opposition parties, scribes after I-T raids on BBC offices

Some political parties are calling it political vendetta, the party contended and put the spotlight on the timing of the raids.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 09:47 PM IST
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BBC documentary row: Supreme Court agrees to hear plea challenging ban on film; hearing scheduled for next week | File pic

Political parties, the Editors Guild, and the Press Club of India are up in arms over the IT raids on the BBC office.

โ€œReports of Income Tax raid at BBC's Delhi office Wow, really? How unexpected. Meanwhile farsaan seva for Adani when he drops in for a chat with Chairman @SEBI_India office,โ€ Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra said on Twitter.

Some people are calling it political vendetta, the party contended and put the spotlight on the timing of the raids.

Action over BBC documentary on PM Modi

The Left parties also hit out at the Centre over what the Income Tax department is calling a survey at the BBC's offices in Delhi and Mumbai to detect tax evasion. The action was an attempt to "intimidate" the broadcaster after it aired a documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots, the parties alleged.

โ€œIt is a standard tactic of the (Narendra) Modi government to intimidate the Indian media through raids conducted by the Income Tax department and other agencies. This has now been extended to a foreign media enterprise operating in India," the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said.

Mehbooba Mufti lashes out at Centre

This was supported by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti who on Tuesday said the survey was "brazen hounding of the critics" of the BJP-led government at the Centre. "Cause & effect of raids on the BBC Office is quite obvious. GOI is brazenly hounding those who speak the truth. Be it opposition leaders, media, activists or anyone else for that matter. The gloves are off & there is a price one pays for fighting for truth," Mufti tweeted.

KTR also condemns I-T raids

The ruling BRS in Telangana let fly at the NDA government at the Centre and alleged that agencies such as the IT department and gthe CBI have turned into "BJP's biggest puppets". "What a surprise!! A few weeks after they aired the documentary on Modi, BBC India now raided by IT. Agencies like IT, CBI and ED have become laughing stock for turning into BJP's biggest puppets. What next? ED raids on Hindenberg or a hostile takeover attempt?" Telangana industries minister KT Rama Rao tweeted.

Editors Guild, Press Club of India react

The Editors Guild of India on Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" about the surveys and termed the action as a continuation of a "trend" of using government agencies to "intimidate and harass" media outlets critical of the ruling establishment. Great care and sensitivity should be shown in all such investigations so as to not undermine the rights of journalists and media organisations, it said.

The Press Club of India echoed these concerns and said on Tuesday that the raids are part of a series of attacks against those sections of the media that the government perceives as hostile to it.

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