The Income Tax Department conducted a raid on the Delhi and Mumbai Offices of BBC. According to a report by the ANI, the raid is a part of the Tax evasion investigation.
Several prominent voices in the form of the opposition and the international media are speaking out against the move of the Indian government. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal lashed out at the Modi government for the move.
“The IT raid at the BBC’s offices reeks of desperation and shows that the Modi government is scared of criticism. We condemn these intimidation tactics in the harshest terms. This undemocratic and dictatorial attitude cannot go on any longer,” said the Congress leader.
In a report by the Guardian, they stated that those who work for the broadcast have confirmed that over a dozen officials turned up in the Delhi office first. Documents and phones of over 100 hundred journalists were seized by the authorities.
As a result of the tax evasion investigation, several financial files and accounts have been seized by IT officials.
Timing of the Raids on BBC no more suggests, but establishes, that India is fast losing its Democratic Image. India's Democracy is under seige. Judiciary and Journalism are the last surviving bastions.
We will fight to the last drop of our blood for Indian Democracy!
Jay Hind! pic.twitter.com/12CMqR7ixE
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) February 14, 2023
You may agree or disagree about the contents of the BBC documentary, but these Income Tax searches are the hallmarks of a thin skinned state. Ahead of the G 20, it’s a poor look for India as we call ourselves the mother of democracy
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) February 14, 2023
The raid by the Income Tax department comes just a few weeks after the BBC released a documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The documentary has been banned in India and the BBC also received severe backlash from the GOI, over the same.
The Indian government changed the Emergency laws to ban the links of the interview from circulating in the public through different social media platforms. As a form of dissent, universities and student organisations around the country organised the screening of the banned documentary.
By saying that the documentary was “rigorously researched according to highest editorial standards”, the BBC stayed true to the claim made in the piece.
The government blasted the British Broadcast Corporation by calling it the most corrupt organisation in the world”.
Meanwhile, from usual Twitter users to the opposition leaders, the reactions are already out online, some supporting while others are speaking against the move.
Adani's office in Delhi being surveyed by the IT department. Phones of all employees siezed.
Sorry it's BBC !
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) February 14, 2023
— नौटंकी® (@Papa__Tweet) February 14, 2023
On the same day that the Home minister, shri Amit Shah told ANI that the allegations of ‘misuse’ of central agencies is a sham charge. BBC says hello
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) February 14, 2023
#ITRaid at BBC office in India is the sign of "Death of Democracy"
Raid at Arnab Goswami's residence and put him into the jail is the sign of "Bold and Strong" Uddhav's govt.
— Farrago Abdullah Parody (@abdullah_0mar) February 14, 2023