Modi documentary row: Mumbai Press Club condemns IT raids on BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai

Modi documentary row: Mumbai Press Club condemns IT raids on BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai

"Media houses have been continuously attacked by the Union and some state governments for refusing to follow the government's perspective, aimed at overawing and demoralizing them," said the Press Club.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 03:06 PM IST
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Modi documentary row: Mumbai Press Club condemns IT raids on BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai |

Mumbai: The Income-Tax Department raids at British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) premises in Delhi and Mumbai were strongly condemned by the Mumbai Press Club. A documentary on the Gujarat riots was aired by the broadcaster, and the searches in BBC offices come weeks after that.

"Media houses have been continuously attacked by the Union and some state governments for refusing to follow the government's perspective, aimed at overawing and demoralizing them," said the Press Club in a statement.

Press Club highlighted about the income tax raids carried out at various media offices in the recent times. They also alleged that houses and offices of journalists and promoters were raided after stories of government ineptitude and failure were done by them.

"In recent days, a series of coordinated income tax raids have been seen on the offices of Dainik Bhaskar Group, UP-based TV network Bharat Live, and news portals such as Newsclick and Newslaundry, among others. Not only have company offices and promoters’ homes been raided, but the homes of editors and ordinary journalists, too, have not been spared. Allegations of tax evasion have been cited by the agencies as justification, but the timing of these raids is too precise to miss the signal to the entire media: that if stories of government ineptitude and failure are carried, this is what will have to be faced," stated Press Club.

Mumbai Press Club alleged that new laws were brought into action in recent times to bring media companies under the scanner of bureaucracy. This has brought danger to the democary.

"Journalists have been jailed earlier, and new laws such as the Digital IT rules have been framed, bringing media companies under the oversight of the higher bureaucracy. This is dangerous in a democracy. It is demanded that this intimidation be stopped, and journalists are left to do their jobs without fear or favour. The fourth estate is a pillar of democracy, and it will only be undermined by such actions," said Mumbai Press Club.

About IT raids at BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai

The tax department raided BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday morning. The BBC's offices are located on Kasturba Gandhi Marg in Delhi and Santacruz in Mumbai. The searches come amid the uproar over a documentary about Prime Minister Modi.

The mobile phones of the employees were seized, and many of them were asked to go home, according to initial reports.

After a day long of searches conducted by the Income Tax department on Tuesday, the operation continued all night to the next day today. The search operation is expected to continue all day today too.

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