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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Indian tax inspectors raid BBC office in wake of Modi documentary.

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According to the BBC, Indian tax authorities raided the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) offices in the country after a documentary investigated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots. In a tweet on Tuesday, the BBC News department press office said the tax authority was“currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating”.

The raid comes weeks after the Modi government banned a documentary titled India.
Modi Question. It examines Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat when he was then Prime Minister. The deadliest incident of religious violence in independent India left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Muslims. Riots erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59 people.

The documentary, which was not officially made available in India, but was uploaded on several social media platforms and shared widely, also revealed for the first time an unreleased United Kingdom government report that said the events had “all the hallmarks of an ethnic cleansing”. The report said Modi was “directly responsible for a climate of impunity” that led to the violence, and that he had ordered senior police officers not to intervene.

India slipped to 150th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, its lowest ranking to date. News outlets, international rights groups, and foreign charities are also under investigation by Indian tax authorities and financial crimes investigators. Amnesty International has announced that it will cease operations in India in 2020 after the government froze its bank accounts following raids on its offices. Critics have long accused the BJP of pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda of targeting and persecuting Muslims, and since Modi came to power in 2014 attacks are increasing.

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