More than a dozen Indian Income Tax officials entered the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai Tuesday morning seizing accounts, financial documents, and phones of BBC employees. They told those who had not yet come into the office to stay home. More than a 100 employees were in the offices at the time.
The searches came weeks after the BBC aired a two-part documentary series critical of India's prime minister, Narendra Modi. India: The Modi Question examined Modi's role in anti-Muslim raids that killed hundreds in his home state of Gujarat in 2002.
Modi's government banned it from being shown inside India and forced social media companies like Twitter and YouTube to take down clips using emergency laws.
After the documentary aired, a Hindu nationalist organization petitioned the country's Supreme Court to ban the BBC in India. The Supreme Court dismissed it.
A spokesperson for Modi's party held a news conference and told the media that the BBC was "rubbish" and alleged that it was "corrupt."
The BBC says it's "fully cooperating" with Indian authorities.
Last year, India fell to 150 out of 180 countries surveyed by Reporters Without Borders in its annual Press Freedom Index, its lowest rank ever.