BBC Documentary Row: IT ‘Survey’ Concludes After Three Days
NEW DELHI: The so called -Survey at the English news broadcasting channel ended almost after, 60 hours said BBC on Thursday.
The raids came against the country’s ban on a BBC documentary that was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in deadly riots more than 20 years ago.
“The Income Tax Authorities have left our offices in Delhi and Mumbai. We will continue to cooperate with the authorities and hope matters are resolved as soon as possible,” the BBC News Press Team said in a tweet Thursday, adding that some of its staff had “faced lengthy questioning or been required to stay overnight – and their welfare is our priority.”
“The BBC is a trusted, independent media organisation and we stand by our colleagues and journalists who will continue to report without fear or favour,” it said.
Tax authorities have made an inventory of the available stock, recorded the statement of some staffers and have impounded some documents as part of the survey action, officials told. They also examined mobiel phones, laptops used some editorial staff and the administration department added officials. Some 10 employees, including the senior editors of Britain’s public broadcaster, returned home after spending three days at the office in central Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg. While several other worked from home as the organization continued to publsih news as usual.
The survey teams are seeking answers on financial transactions, the company structure and other details about the news company, and are copying data from electronic gadgets as part of their task of collecting the evidence, tax officials had said.
A massive controversy erupted over BBCs documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots featuring Modi as the then CM. The foreign ministry had termed the documentary “a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative” and the Centre had asked YouTube and Twitter to block it.