BBC India: MPs label searches in Mumbai and Delhi as intimidation

A BBC office in New Delhi, India, is guarded by armed personnel

The BBC's offices in India were searched by tax authorities, and British MPs have called this "intimidation.".

When offices in Delhi and Mumbai were targeted last week, some employees were subjected to overnight questioning.

A documentary attacking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently broadcast in the UK by the BBC, which is helping with the investigation.

David Rutley, a minister in the Foreign Office, stated that the government is closely monitoring the situation.

During a Commons debate on Tuesday, Labour shadow minister Fabian Hamilton stated that "criticism cannot be shut down needlessly" in a democracy.

Regardless of the official explanation for why the searches were conducted in India, the Labour MP expressed concern regarding their purpose.

"The BBC should be free to report and operate without fear," he continued. "It is a globally renowned broadcaster that is justly renowned for its high-quality, trustworthy reporting. ".

According to Jim Shannon of the DUP, the searches were "a deliberate act of intimidation following the release of a documentary that was critical of the country's leader.".

He urged the administration to consult with the Indian High Commission about the matter.

The searches were called "extremely worrying" by Conservative Sir Julian Lewis as well.

David Rutley, a minister in the Foreign Office, declined to comment directly on the situation but added: "Respect for the rule of law is essential to an effective democracy, just as an independent media and freedom of speech are. ".

Narendra Modi arriving at the parliament building in New Delhi, India
The documentary about Narendra Modi has received harsh criticism from the Indian government.

a documentary. India: The Modi Problem. centered on the role played by the prime minister during his time as Gujarat's chief minister in the anti-Muslim riots of 2002.

The Indian government has referred to it as "hostile propaganda" and has made attempts to prevent domestic airings, including detaining Delhi students at a screening.

The income tax authorities have left the BBC's offices in Delhi and Mumbai, a spokesperson for the organization said. We will keep working with the authorities and hope that everything is resolved quickly.

"Our top priority is the welfare of the staff, some of whom have endured in-depth interrogations or had to spend the night. Now that our output has returned to normal, we're still committed to helping our audiences in India and elsewhere.

"The BBC is a dependable, independent media outlet, and we support our colleagues and journalists who will keep reporting without fear or favor. ".

India's Central Board of Direct Taxes asserted that following the raid, it had gathered "crucial evidence" and discovered "several discrepancies and inconsistencies.".

The following was stated in a statement by the department: "The department gathered several evidences pertaining to the operation of the organization which indicate that tax has not been paid on certain remittances which have not been disclosed as income in India by the foreign entities of the group.

. "

Source link

You've successfully subscribed to Webosor
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.