The BBC’s offices in Mumbai and New Delhi have been raided by income tax authorities.
The searches come after the launch of BBC documentary India: The Modi Question, which was critical of the country’s president Narendra Modi.
While the doc only aired in the UK, the Indian government called it “anti-India garbage” and protests were held outside the BBC’s headquarters in central London.
“The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating. We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible,” said a BBC Studios spokesman this morning.
India: The Modi Question charts Modi’s political rise and specifically looked at his actions during religious rioting in Gujarat in 2002, when he was Chief Minister of the State. According to the BBC, more than 1,000 mostly Muslim people died during the chaos, which began after a train carrying Hindi pilgrims was set on fire.
Indian free speech activists have tried to have the film reinstated on social media after it was removed when emergency laws were passed. Last month, students who gathered to watch a screening were detained.
India has become an increasingly hostile country for media critical of the government. The opposition Congress party called the searches “undemocratic” and warned the “dictatorial attitude cannot go on any longer.”
However, a spokesman for Modi’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party called the BBC “the most corrupt organization in the world.”
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