Raid at BBC offices end after three days

The income tax raid of BBC offices in India ended on Thursday evening after three days, the media group announced. The searches began on 14 February in BBC Delhi and Mumbai offices where several staff were facing lengthy questioning or told to stay at the office overnight.

Several critics of the Indian government called the raid an attempt to stifle press freedom. BBC recently released a two-part documentary on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi which Indian authorities banned.

The documentary, India: The Modi Question, finds Modi responsible for the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom and provides insight into his anti-Muslim policies.

Responding to the raid, BBC issued a statement ensuring cooperation.

“We will continue to cooperate with the authorities and hope matters are resolved as soon as possible,” the statement reads.

Following the raid, BBC said, “Supporting staff— some of whom have faced lengthy questioning or been required to stay overnight – and their welfare is our priority.”

“Our output is back to normal and we remain committed to serving our audiences in India and beyond.

“The BBC is a trusted, independent media organisation and we stand by our colleagues and journalists who will continue to report without fear or favour.”

There has been no official statement from the Income Tax department on the action.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday labelled the British broadcaster as the “most corrupt” organization in the world.