'BBC doesn't represent...': British MP Blackman backs PM Modi, slams 'propaganda' documentary
The British lawmaker also accused the documentary of casting aspersions and said it is extremely regrettable because it would look like a sort of agenda of BBC to disrupt UK-India relations.
Describing the British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots as "propaganda" and a "disgraceful piece of shoddy journalism", British MP from Harrow East Bob Blackman said it should never have been released.
"BBC does not represent views of the British government and the documentary is a hatchet job," Blackman told news agency ANI.
The British MP's comments come even Income Tax department officials on Thursday night left the BBC's offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, after a three-day inspection that involved the cloning of data from some digital devices.
The inspection came weeks after the government reacted angrily to a BBC documentary about Modi. The broadcaster, which said its operation in India had returned to normal, has called the situation stressful and disruptive.
The Centre also dismissed the documentary, 'India: The Modi Question', as "propaganda" and blocked its streaming and sharing on social media.
Blackman said the BBC documentary was "full of innuendos" and it was produced by an external organisation and overseen by the British broadcaster. "It should never have been broadcast by the BBC because the BBC has a worldwide reputation. People think, oh my goodness, this must be true. But, it was produced by an external organisation, overseen by the BBC. It is far from the truth. It actually did not look in detail into the causes for the Gujarat riots 20 years ago," the British MP said.
Blackman also said the documentary didn't look at the significant fact that the Supreme Court investigated the claims against Modi in connection with the 2002 riots and found that there is not a shred of evidence to support them. He added that as chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had done his best to appeal for calm during the 2002 riots.
The British lawmaker also accused the documentary of casting aspersions and said it is extremely regrettable because it would look like a sort of agenda of BBC to disrupt UK-India relations. "I think that's a great shame."
He said the British government regards India as a strong friend and a strong ally and expressed hope that a propaganda video would not impact the India-UK relations.
Blackman also expressed his views over BBC's alleged tax flaws and the Income Tax's survey at its offices in India. "This is nothing new and has been going on for quite sometime," he said.
The BBC documentary has triggered a major controversy in India which showcased Modi's tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots.
(With inputs from ANI)