NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha arrested under UAPA after day-long raids

Oct 03, 2023 10:38 PM IST

A total of 46 people were questioned in relation to the case, according to Delhi Police.

After conducting a day-long search, seizures and detentions, Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested NewsClick founder and its editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, firm's human resources head, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The founder of the portal was earlier brought to the Delhi Police special cell office for questioning in connection with the case under the anti-terror law following the allegations that the portal received funds for pro-China propaganda.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick Prabir Purkayastha (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick Prabir Purkayastha (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

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Earlier in the day, Delhi Police personnel carried out raids in houses of several journalists associated with the news portal and seized a number of their electronic devices as evidence including laptops, mobile phones and hard disks.

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According to the police officials, a total of 46 suspects have been questioned in relation to the case at different locations. The case under UAPA and different sections of the Indian Penal Code were filed on August 17.

"A total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at premises, 9 female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay and digital devices, documents etc. have been seized/collected for examination," Delhi Police said.

According to reports, a list of 25 questiones on various issues which included details of foreign travels, protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and farmer's agitation were posed at the journalists.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted raids at different premises associated with the firm to figure out sources of the funding. According to officials, the special cell is carrying out searches on the basis of inputs given by the central probe agency.

NewsClick came under scanner after a report by The New York Times said the firm allegedly received money from US billionaire Neville Roy Singham, who is also known for pushing campaigns in support of China and its propaganda. Singham also has close ties with Chinese government's media machine.

The Editors Guild of India expressed ‘deep concerns’ regarding the incident. Meanwhile, Union minister Anurag Thakur defended the raids by saying there must have been some evidence or complaint related to the case.


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