NEW DELHI (AP) — Officials from India’s Income Tax department began conducting searches Tuesday at the BBC’s offices in the capital, New Delhi, three of the broadcaster’s staff members told the Associated Press.
The search comes weeks after the British broadcaster released a controversial documentary that examined Prime Minister Narendra Modi ’s role during 2002 anti-Muslim riots.
The employees asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Teams from the tax department surveyed the BBC's Delhi and Mumbai offices, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, quoting officials whom they did not identify.
India tax authorities declined to comment on the situation. The BBC was not immediately available to comment.
India banned the two-part documentary “India: The Modi Question” last month and authorities scrambled to halt screenings of the program and restrict clips of it on social media in a move that critics and political opponents decried as an assault on press freedom.
India’s Foreign Ministry called the documentary a “propaganda piece designed to push a particularly discredited narrative” that lacked objectivity.”
The BBC in a statement had said the documentary was “rigorously researched” and involved a wide range of voices and opinions.
“We offered the Indian Government a right to reply to the matters raised in the series — it declined to respond,” the statement said.