The unprecedented raids, or what the government calls as 'surveys', at BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai are continuing for the third straight day on Thursday amidst a sharp scrutiny. The IT sleuths have stormed the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday at around 11.30 am and now, the surveys have entered the third straight day and expected to continue for some more time.
The officials involved in the surveys are in the process of gathering financial data from select staffers and made copies of electronic and paper data of the news organisation. On Wednesday, the authorities said that the exercise would continue for some more time and stated that the exact time frame to call the operation closed rests entirely on the teams on the ground.
The survey is being carried out to investigate issues related to international taxation and transfer pricing of BBC subsidiary companies. According to the officials, the teams are seeking answers on financial transactions, the company structure and other details about the company, and are copying data from electronic gadgets as part of their task of collecting the evidence.
The operation that began at the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai around 11.30 am on Tuesday has clocked more than 45 hours now. On Tuesday, the BJP regime has accused the BBC of venomous reporting and it had also called the broadcaster as a corrupt corporation. On the other hand, the opposition parties and journalistic bodies have labeled the survey as political vendetta as the survey has come weeks after BBC had released a documentary 'India: The Modi Question' that exhibited Narendra Modi's arbitrary regime against the Minorities and his involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
While there has been no official statement from the Income Tax deparment on the survey, the BBC has said it has been cooperating with the authorities. The officials have claimed that the IT department has also been investigating the BBC's deliberate non-compliance with the transfer pricing rules and its vast diversion of profits. When the opposition parties and the journalistic bodies are slamming the centre for its survey, the BJP regime has been reacting to the criticisms with the saffron party claiming BBC's documentary 'India: The Modi Question' is a part of anti-Modi plot.
On Tuesday, Union Minister of Youth, Sports Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said that the IT department will share the details after the raids. He said, "When the surveys are over, it issues a press note or holds a press briefing to share information. I believe that when the IT department will complete its survey, it will share details with you." "No one can be above the law of the country", Thakur added.