Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that the Income Tax Department’s searches at the BBC’s offices in India were an example of how voices across the country are being suppressed by the Centre, reported PTI.

The Wayanad MP made the remarks while speaking at an event organised by the Indian Journalists’ Association in London.

“The media, the institutional frameworks, judiciary, Parliament is all under attack and we were finding it very difficult to put the voice of the people through the normal channels,” Gandhi said. “The BBC has found out about it now, but it has been going on in India for the last nine years non-stop.”

The Congress leader said that journalists who toe the government’s line are rewarded, while others are intimidated and attacked.

Gandhi added that if the BBC stops writing against the Indian government, all the charges against them will disappear, according to PTI.

The income tax searches were conducted less than a month after the BBC released a two-part documentary that examined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat, in which more than 1,000 people – most of them Muslims – were killed.

However, the Union government claimed that there was no connection between the BBC documentary and the Income Tax survey.

On Friday, Gandhi had also delivered a lecture at the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University, during which he claimed that several Indian politicians, including himself, were under surveillance using Israeli-made Pegasus spyware.

Responding to the remarks, Union minister Anurag Thakur accused the Congress leader of maligning the country on foreign soil.

However, on Saturday, the Opposition leader dismissed the allegations, saying that defaming the country was never his intention.

“The BJP likes to twist what I say, the fact of the matter is the person who defames India when he goes abroad is the Prime Minister of India saying there was a lost decade, and nothing happened in the last 10 years so what about all those people who worked in India, who built India in those 10 years,” Gandhi said, reported PTI. “Is he not insulting them? And, he’s doing it on foreign soil.”