NewsClick Founder, Editor-In-Chief Prabir Purkayastha Arrested Under UAPA


The Delhi Police arrested two persons including founder and editor-in-chief of NewsClick Prabir Purkayastha on Tuesday after quizzing them in their office following raids at his premises under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections, the police officials said.

According to the Delhi Police, a total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at the premises, and nine female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay.

“Regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out today in connection with a UAPA case registered with Special Cell, so far two accused, Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty have been arrested. A total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at the premises, and nine female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay,” the police said.

It further said that the digital devices, documents etc have been seized and collected for examination.

The Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick, Prabir Purkayastha and writers Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Urmilesh were brought to the special cell offices in the national capital on Tuesday as part of the investigation as Delhi Police launched a crackdown against NewsClick and its journalists earlier this morning in connection with an FIR registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Tuesday afternoon sealed the office of the online news portal in the national capital.

The raids were carried out at more than 30 locations in connection with a case registered on August 17 under UAPA and other sections of IPC, including 153A (promoting enmity between two groups), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).

Meanwhile, Union Minister Anurag Thakur, while speaking to reporters in Bhubaneswar said that if action has been taken, then there must have been evidence or complaint.

Flagging concerns over the incident, the Editors Guild of India, in a statement, said it was “deeply concerned” about the raids at the residences of senior journalists early this morning.

“Their laptops, mobile phones and other devices have been seized. Senior journalists have been taken into custody by the Delhi Police, allegedly for ‘questioning.’ Media reports suggest that the raids have been widespread. The raids are reportedly being conducted in connection with an FIR filed under the draconian UAPA and laws relating to criminal conspiracy and disruption of communal harmony against journalists, including those associated with the website,” the Guild said in a statement. 

Earlier, on August 10, a report in the New York Times had alleged that NewsClick was part of a global network that receives funding from American billionaire Neville Roy Singham.

Singham is known as a socialist benefactor of far-left causes and is at the centre of a lavishly funded influence campaign that defends China and pushes its propaganda.

Singham is also said to have close ties with the Chinese government’s media machine. (ANI) 

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