UK govt provides no response to ‘surveys’, however sources say officers ‘carefully monitoring’ them

LONDON: The UK authorities, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, and even UK opposition events didn’t present any official response to the income-tax “surveys” carried out on the UK nationwide public broadcaster’s workplaces in New Delhi and Mumbai.
There was no official assertion from No. 10 or the Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO). Nevertheless, TOI understands from sources inside the FCDO that officers there have been carefully monitoring experiences of the searches.
Reactions from the Indian diaspora within the UK had been combined.
“Indian tax authorities who raided the BBC are unbiased of the federal government and must be allowed to do their job. If the BBC has executed nothing mistaken, they are going to be cleared. This has nothing to do with the Modi documentary,” stated Jayu Shah, spokesman for FISI (Pals of India Society Worldwide) UK, who was one of many individuals who protested outdoors the BBC in London over the documentary.
Adit Kothari, founding member of the Indic Society, who helped organised that protest, whose organisation seeks to dismantle what it claims is a detrimental Western narrative about India, stated: “It’s crucial for these indulging in hypocrisy to do some soul looking out. BBC had been despatched comparable notices by the I-T division throughout the UPA regime, which means that they’re a serial offender when it comes all the way down to the query of accounting malpractices. Linking this I-T survey to the BBC hit-job documentary is mental chapter because the notices had been generated in 2021, to which the BBC by no means responded. The BBC has a protracted historical past of accounting malpractices and tax avoidance as they’ve beforehand been pulled up by the British tax authorities for comparable offences,” he stated, referring to round 800 BBC TV and radio presenters being accused of tax avoidance within the UK after being employed via private service corporations.” That resulted in them having not solely to apologise to the individuals and employees but additionally shelling out tens of millions as fines.”
Nevertheless Pratik Dattani, advisory board member of Bridge India, a progressive UK-India assume tank based mostly in London, stated: “After a number of a long time of the BBC having workplaces in India, sudden tax raids simply 4 days after the Supreme Court docket rejected the Indian authorities ban on its Modi documentary appears very handy. The actions look like sending an overt political message. Media freedom is necessary for the well being of a vibrant democracy and this can be a strategic fake pas from the Indian authorities — the actions will focus international consideration on India’s media freedom, and provides extra air to a documentary the federal government simply wished would go away.”

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