BBC Offices in India Searched Following Modi Documentary

Image copyright: AP [via Financial Times]

The Facts

  • Income tax authorities have searched BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, just weeks after the broadcaster released a controversial documentary criticizing Indian Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi.

  • According to BBC sources, officials questioned the BBC accounts officer working in the New Delhi office and didn't allow others to leave. Tax officials have described the operation as a "credible survey operation."

The Spin

Narrative A

This is a blatant attack on journalists who have, through rigorous investigation, exposed Modi's record of oppressive and intolerant leadership. New Delhi is sliding into authoritarianism, a regression that has been accelerated by Modi's style of governance. Tax raids are a thin cover for what government officials are truly up to — concealing the erosion of human rights and persecution of minorities in India.

Narrative B

The surveys on the BBC premises are entirely warranted. Distinct from the broadcaster's recent controversial documentary — which has done irreparable damage to the sovereignty and integrity of India, as well as relations abroad and public order domestically — the offices are facing allegations of tax evasion and irregularities of international tax and financial transactions. Tax officials must be allowed to do their jobs unhindered by interference from the meddling of the international community.

Metaculus Prediction

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