New Delhi: The Press Club of India (PCI) and Editors Guild of India (EGI) have strongly condemned the income tax "surveys" at the office of the BBC in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday.
In a statement, PCI said, "The 'surveys' are part of a series of attacks on the media by government agencies in recent times, especially against those sections of the media that the government perceives is hostile to it and critical of the ruling establishment.
"It is deeply unfortunate as this latest instance appears to be a clear-cut case of vendetta, coming within weeks of a documentary aired by the BBC on the Gujarat riots."
The PCI said that the documentary, which appears to be the immediate provocation for the raids, has already been banned on YouTube & other social media platforms.
"We are deeply concerned and distressed that such an action on an international broadcasting network will damage the reputation and image of India as the largest democracy in the world. We appeal to the govt to restrain its agencies from misusing their powers in order to intimidate the media and put curbs on the freedom of the press," the statement read. The Editors Guild of India on Tuesday expressed concern over the Income Tax (I-T) surveys at BBC India offices.
"This comes soon after the release of two documentaries by the BBC, on the 2002 violence in Gujarat and the current status of the minorities in India. The documentaries stirred political waters with the government criticising the BBC for wrong and prejudiced reportage on the Gujarat violence, and attempted to ban online access and viewing of the films in India," it said.