Indian tax authorities searched the BBC’s New Delhi offices on Tuesday, according to an AFP journalist, weeks after the broadcaster aired a programme critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“They are taking all phones because there is an income tax raid in the office,” the employee explained.
An AFP journalist on the site observed police preventing anyone from entering or leaving the BBC’s office in the heart of the capital.
“Government protocol is being followed inside the office,” an official stated, declining to identify their department.
Last month, the channel aired a two-part documentary stating that Modi, the state’s premier at the time, ordered police to ignore sectarian violence in Gujarat in 2002.
At least 1,000 people were killed in the violence, the majority of them were members of the country’s Muslim minority.
India’s government prohibited videos and tweets posting links to the documentary soon after its debut, calling it “hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage”.
University student groups then organized screenings of the documentary, against school regulations, in order to defy government efforts to prevent it from being broadcast.