Home » “NewsClick” Founder Prabir Purkayastha, HR Head Arrested, Office Sealed After Raids

“NewsClick” Founder Prabir Purkayastha, HR Head Arrested, Office Sealed After Raids

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read
The office of “NewsClick” was sealed by the Delhi Police Special Cell and suspects were questioned.

The founder of Delhi-based news portal “NewsClick” Prabir Purkayastha and its HR Head Amit Chakravarty were arrested and over 40 suspects linked to the portal were questioned by the Delhi Police Special Cell, for alleged Chinese links on Tuesday.
In September 2021 the portal was under the the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s scanner. In August this year, the “New York Times” reported that the portal received funding from US millionaire Neville Roy Singham for pro-China propaganda in India.
While some of the assets of the “NewsClick” in New Delhi were attached by the ED last year, a fresh case was registered by the police against the news portal on August 17 under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections of IPC, including Section 153A (promoting enmity between two groups), 120B (criminal conspiracy). Two accused- portal founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources head Amit Chakravarty have been arrested, Delhi Police spokesperson Suman Nalwa told media.
Over 30 locations in Delhi, Noida, and Ghaziabad were searched after police registered a case under Section 17 (Raising funds for terrorist acts), Section 18 (Conspiracy), and Section 22 C (Offences by Companies) of the UAPA. Police also sealed NewsClick’s office located at
Westend Mark, Saidulajab in New Delhi.
Before this, the ED had filed a case against “NewsClick”, accusing it of receiving foreign funding in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), with allegations of funds being used for anti-national activities. The agency had come across questionable infusion of foreign inward remittance of Rs 9.59 crore by way of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Rs 28.46 crore by way of export of services.
On Tuesday, the police recovered the dump data from laptops and mobile phones of the journalists of the news portal. Among those questioned were journalists Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakravarty, Abhisar Sharma, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta as well as historian Sohail Hashmi, satirist Sanjay Rajoura and D Raghunandan of the Centre for Technology & Development.
According to sources, the suspects were divided into three categories- A, B, and C and their premises were raided. The police posed a list of 25 questions to some of the NewsClick journalists. The questions pertained to Shaheen Bagh protests, farmers’ protests, North-east protests, and details of their foreign travel.
“After a daylong interrogation by Delhi special cell, I am back home. Every question posed will be answered. Nothing to fear. And I will keep questioning people in power particularly those who are afraid of simple questions. Not backing down at any cost,” Abhisar Sharma posted on X. Addressing a gathering in Bhubaneswar, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said probe agencies in the country are independent and work by law.
The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ). Marathi Patrakar Parishad and other scribes’ bodies condemned the police action. “The law enforcement agencies have tried to criminalize journalists with pejorative labels labelling them as anti-nationals and propagandists for the Chinese Government. The intimidation and harassment by Delhi police should be stopped  immediately”, the BUJ demanded in a statement.

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