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How Foreign Media Reacted To Income Tax Survey At BBC Offices In India

All the international outlets have mentioned in their dispatches about the recent BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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IT teams at BBCs Delhi office
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Income Tax raids on BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai have been prominently covered by foreign media.

All the international outlets have mentioned in their dispatches about the recent BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

‘India: The Modi Question’, the BBC documentary that resurfaced the decades-old allegations on Modi that he failed to stop the bloody riots in Gujarat in 2002, when he was the state’s chief minister. 

The Forbes stated in its report that a journalist from BBC’s New Delhi office had confirmed to it that the IT authorities had taken possession of phones and laptops belonging to journalists who were inside the office.

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Most of the international media have also given a prominent space to BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia’s comment about BBC in which he had labelled the organisation as “corrupt” and working with “malice” against India. 

The foreign media has also mentioned about Opposition’s reaction from India on BBC raids, which stated : “No Democracy can survive if institutions are used to attack Opposition and media”. 

The reports have also mentioned about worsening record of press freedom in India. Most of the reports have mentioned about India’s number at 150 in Press Freedom Index.

The Independent in its report has stated about how Modi’s government has in the past been accused by rights organisations of “using allegations of financial misconduct to target its critics, including NGOs, journalists, news organisations and politicians”.

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It has also mentioned about Supreme Court dismissed a petition to challenge the findings of a Special Investigation Team report on the Gujarat riots, which had cleared Modi as well as 62 other senior government officials.

The report quoting Opposition parties in India has also mentioned about recent fraud allegations against business tycoon Gautam Adani and how government in India was focusing on media, instead of probing the Adani case.

The report has also quoted Editors Guild of India (EGI) statement which has condemned the government action. 

The Washington Post in its report has mentioned about how the government in India invoked emergency powers to force social media companies to remove links to BBC documentary recently.

“Since the documentary aired, some Indian right-wing organizations, including the Hindu Sena, have petitioned the courts to ban the BBC, while other pro-government outlets, including Republic TV, have circulated a baseless claim that the British broadcaster is an agent of the Chinese Communist Party,” The Washington Post report said.

The report also stated that the media outlets in India have been facing government ire for being critical of the government.

It listed some incidents including the 2021 IT raid on Dainik Bhaskar. The IT raid on NDTV in 2017 and Newsclick.

The Guardian has also prominently covered the raid on BBC offices.

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In its report The Guardian stated: “There has been an increasingly pressured environment for the media since Modi came to power in 2014. Journalists and news organisations that have published work critical of the BJP government have faced harassment, raids, criminal cases and tax investigations”.

CNN while covering the raid incident, quoting The Press Club of India’s statement mentioned the raids “will damage the reputation and image of India as the world’s largest democracy.”

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