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IT 'survey' at BBC India office to continue overnight, phones seized, laptops scanned
BBC raids
Image Credit: BBC India website

IT 'survey' at BBC India office to continue overnight, phones seized, laptops scanned

| @indiablooms | 14 Feb 2023, 10:26 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The search operations led by Income Tax officials in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)'s Delhi and Mumbai offices Tuesday will continue overnight, as per reports, even as phones and laptops are getting seized.

The IT search comes weeks after a massive controversy over the UK national broadcaster's documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the deadly 2002 riots in Gujarat.

The team sealed off the offices for a "survey" linked to the alleged diversion of profits and irregularities in transfer pricing involving the BBC.

According to reports, the survey will continue at least till Tuesday and the officials are expected to carry on the search all night at the offices.

The Income Tax authorities are checking account details dating as far back as 2012.

"The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating. We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible," the BBC tweeted.

During the searches, several documents have been seized while the phones and laptops of journalists were taken away.

Employees were allowed to leave six hours after the searches began, only after their laptops had been scanned.

The officers went there to check account books, Income Tax sources asserted, adding that the taxmen asked the BBC's finance department for details of balance sheets and accounts.

The two-part series, "India: The Modi Question", was taken down from public platforms last month.

The Centre used emergency powers under IT Rules to cut off the BBC series link shared by some YouTube and Twitter accounts.

The government slammed the documentary as "hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage".

The survey was conducted by a team of 15 officials from the Income Tax Department in the Delhi and Mumbai offices of BBC.

Meanwhile, the Opposition came down heavily over the IT survey at BBC offices.

Reacting to I-T officials reaching the BBC offices for a survey, Congress tweeted, "The government is after the BBC while here we demand a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) on the Adani matter."

Congress also posted a video of AICC General Secretary Jairam Ramesh replying to a question on I-T officials visiting the BBC's Delhi office.

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