(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) NewsClick Founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources Head Amit Chakravarty have been arrested by the Delhi Police special cell following their questioning in connection with a UAPA case registered against them.
Earlier today, the special cell had carried out search, seizure and detentions. According to the Delhi Police officials, a total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at the premises, nine female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay and digital devices, documents etc. have been seized/collected for examination.
Raids were carried out at over 20 locations across Delhi-NCR, targeting journalists linked to NewsClick, sparking opposition protests and accusations of an assault on press freedom.
During these searches, law enforcement authorities seized electronic evidence, including laptops and mobile phones, and extracted data from hard disks. The raids were conducted based on information provided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), suggesting potential unlawful activities involving the individuals in question.
The Enforcement Directorate, primarily tasked with probing financial frauds, alleges that NewsClick received approximately ₹38 crore from entities with suspected ties to China. This money purportedly went towards the salaries of eight journalists. In total, at least ten journalists associated with NewsClick were subject to these searches.
The Editors Guild of India, a non-profit organization representing journalists, has called on the government to adhere to due process and avoid using stringent criminal laws as tools for intimidating the press.
"The EGI is concerned that these raids may constitute another attempt to suppress the media. While we acknowledge that the law should take its course in cases of actual wrongdoing, it is imperative that due process is followed. Investigating specific offences should not create a climate of intimidation under the shadow of harsh laws or infringe upon freedom of expression and the ability to voice dissenting and critical opinions," stated the Editors Guild.
The Press Club of India expressed deep concern about the raids on the homes of journalists and writers associated with NewsClick, pledging to closely monitor developments and issue a comprehensive statement.
"The Press Club of India is deeply concerned about the multiple raids conducted on the homes of journalists and writers associated with NewsClick. We are monitoring the situation and will release a detailed statement soon. The PCI stands in solidarity with the journalists and calls on the government to provide detailed information," it emphasized.
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