Indian police raided the office of a news portal and the homes of journalists and writers linked to it on Tuesday as part of an investigation into suspected illegal foreign funding of the media company, two government officials said.
Laptops and mobile phones were taken away as part of the investigation into the media company NewsClick, the officials and some of the journalists said.
"A special investigations team launched a search operation to identify all those individuals who were possibly getting funds from overseas to run a media group with the main agenda of spreading foreign propaganda," said an official in the interior ministry overseeing the raids by the Delhi Police.
The raids were part of an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, India's financial crime agency, into suspected money laundering by NewsClick, the official said.
Another ministry official said the raids were conducted at more than a dozen homes of journalists and some other writers linked to NewsClick.
"We have not arrested anyone and the search operations are still underway," the second official said.
Both of the officials declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media. A Delhi Police spokesperson said he was not in a "position to comment, as of now".
NewsClick officials were not immediately available for comment. It says on its website says it is an independent media organisation launched in 2009 dedicated to covering news from India and elsewhere with a focus on "progressive movements".
Officials said the investigation began after a New York Times report in August named NewsClick as part of a global network receiving funds from American billionaire Neville Roy Singham, allegedly to publish Chinese propaganda.
NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha said at the time the allegations were not new and the organisation would respond to them in court.
The Press Club of India said it was deeply concerned about the raids.
India has fallen to 150th in the World Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking by non-profit Reporters Without Borders, from 140th last year, its lowest ever.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government rejects the group's findings, questioning its methodology, and says India has a vibrant and free press.