NEW DELHI: British broadcaster the BBC said on Tuesday its staff will launch a new company for Indian language services, in compliance with foreign investment rules that authorities in India alleged BBC violated.

The broadcaster is under scrutiny for alleged foreign exchange violations in India and an investigation was launched shortly after tax authorities searched BBC’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai in February.

The action by Indian authorities came after the BBC aired a critical documentary on Prime Minis­ter Narendra Modi in January, examining his leadership during deadly communal riots in 2002, which prompted an angry respo­nse from the government.

The broadcaster said on Tuesday four staff members, including current India head Rupa Jha, would leave the organisation to form the new company named “Collective Newsroom” and provide services as commissioned by BBC.

“The regulations that govern publishing the news in India have changed,” BBC’s deputy CEO Jonathan Munro told staff in an email. “The changes mean that any company publishing digital news content in India, must be majority-owned by Indian nationals,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2023

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