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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 8, February 18, 2023

Income Tax raids at the offices of BBC India | Statements by Editors Guild, and by Left parties

Friday 17 February 2023


Statement by Editor’s Guild of India

The Editors Guild of India


February 14th, 2023

The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned about the Income Tax surveys at the offices of BBC India. As per news reports, BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai were being “surveyed” by teams from the IT department on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.

This comes soon after the release of two documentaries by the BBC, on the 2002 violence in Gujarat and the current status of the minorities in India. The documentaries stirred political waters with the government criticising the BBC for wrong and prejudiced reportage on the Gujarat violence, and attempted to ban online access and viewing of the films in India.

The surveys by the IT department is in continuation of a trend of using government agencies to intimidate and harass press organisations that are critical of government policies or the ruling establishment. In September 2021, offices of NewsClick and Newslaundry were similarly “surveyed” by IT department. In June 2021, there were surveys against Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar. In February 2021, the ED had conducted raids at the office of NewsClick. In each case, the raids and surveys were against the backdrop of critical coverage of the government establishment by the news organisations.

This is a trend that undermines constitutional democracy. The Guild demands that great care and sensitivity be shown in all such investigations so as to not undermine the rights of journalists and media organisations. Further, the Guild reiterates its earlier demand that governments ensure that such investigations are conducted within the prescribed rules and that they don’t degenerate into instruments of harassment to intimidate independent media.

Thanks and regards,

Seema Mustafa, President
Anant Nath, General Secretary
Shriram Pawar, Treasurer

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Statement by CPI(M)

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemns the searches conducted by the Income Tax department of the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai. This is a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass the television channel for having telecast the documentary, ’The Modi Question’.

It is a standard tactic of the 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.

This coercive action will further reinforce internationally the image of the Modi government as an authoritarian regime which seeks to suppress media criticism.

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Statement by CPI

Communist Party of India

New Delhi,

February 14, 2023

Press Release

CPI Condemns I-T Raids on BBC Offices

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India issued the following statement today (on February 14, 2023) condemning the raids on Mumbai and Delhi offices of BBC:

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India condemns the raids conducted by the income tax department at the Delhi and Mumbai offices of BBC. The Modi government has already become notorious for attacking everyone who criticizes and exposes its communal-fascist policies.

It may be recalled here that BBC has recently telecast the documentary, ‘The Modi Question’. This has annoyed the Modi government which did not allow its telecast in universities and other places.

Now the Modi government has used the government machinery to intimidate a foreign telecast company. Such a step is likely to bring down the image of the country which has already suffered as far as the freedom of the media is concerned

Office Secretary

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