UK provides no response to ‘surveys’, 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 places of work 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 have been combined.
“Indian tax authorities who raided the BBC are impartial of the federal government and needs to be allowed to do their job. If the BBC has performed 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 exterior 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 adverse Western narrative about India, stated: “It’s crucial for these indulging in hypocrisy to do some soul looking out. BBC have been despatched related notices by the I-T division through the UPA regime, which means that they’re a serial offender when it comes right down to the query of accounting malpractices. Linking this I-T survey to the BBC hit-job documentary is mental chapter because the notices have 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 related offences,” he stated, referring to round 800 BBC TV and radio presenters being accused of tax avoidance within the UK after being employed by way of 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 primarily based in London, stated: “After a number of many years of the BBC having places of work 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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