By: Mohnish Singh
Any media organisation functioning in India will have to follow the rules and regulations of the country, the BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said on Tuesday, amid the ongoing ‘survey’ operations on BBC offices by the IT department.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Bhatia said, “Income Tax department lawfully carried out raids at the BBC office. The IT department is no longer the ‘caged parrot’ as the Supreme Court had said about government institutions during the Congress rule.” He also attacked the BBC, saying that some ‘sections’ can’t digest India’s growing heft on the world stage.
“The BBC has become the most ‘Bhrasht Bakwaas Corporation’ in the world. Unfortunately, BBC’s propaganda and Congress’ agenda are on the same lines. Today, India is attaining great heights under PM Modi’s leadership and some sections do not like this. The BBC has all rights to do journalism in India, but they will have to abide by the law of the land,” Bhatia said.
The BJP spokesperson further referred to several instances when BBC allegedly insulted Indian sentiments.
“In one of its programmes, the BBC referred to a terrorist operating in Kashmir (slain LeT commander Burhaan Wani) as a charismatic young revolutionary. What kind of journalism is this? You (BBC) are working in India but trying to sabotage our Constitution. In another report, it said Holi is a ‘filthy’ festival. What do you (BBC) know about our festivals? In another report, they insulted our icons saying that Mahatma Gandhi failed to liberate India in 1946,” Bhatia said.
He further attacked the Congress citing the ban on BBC imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“BBC should also remember what UK’s longest serving Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said about them. She said the BBC is ‘Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation’. Also, the Congres should remember that Indira Gandhi, too, had put a ban on the BBC. India is a country that provides opportunities to every organisation to work under its laws, provided they don’t have a hidden agenda and are not spewing venom against the country,” Bhatia added.
He also attacked Congress and other Opposition parties over their comments on the ongoing survey at BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.
“My question to the Congress and other Opposition parties is that when the survey (at BBC offices) has not even come to any logical conclusion, on which basis are they standing with the ‘anti-national’ forces? Why can’t they wait patiently for the report? Why is it that the Congress always stands with China, BBC, and even terrorists?” Bhatia added.
Earlier in the day, the Income Tax department started ‘survey’ operations at the India offices of the British public broadcaster, in both Delhi and Mumbai, sources informed.
According to sources, the IT officials were verifying certain account documents in the finance department of BBC.
Income tax officials arrived at BBC offices located at the national capital’s KG Marg for the survey. The British broadcaster’s office at Kalina Santacruz in Mumbai was also surveyed, sources said adding that the survey was limited to the business premises of BBC only.
According to reports, a team of IT officials arrived at the BBC Studios office in Kalina Santacruz around 11.30 am today and the survey is going on since then. There is no IT activity at the BBC News office at Linking road Bandra West.
It is understood that the tax officials are conducting verification of certain account documents in the finance department of the BBC offices.
During the investigation, the mobile phones of all the employees present in the BBC office have been taken away by the Income Tax team. The data of the computer kept in the accounts and finance department was also scanned. According to sources, officials said the devices will be returned to their owners after taking a backup.