Journalists and writers associated with the newsclick news portal have been raided and their laptops seized. Raids likely to be linked to charges of financial irregularities against owners The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Tuesday morning conducted raids and seized laptops and mobile phones from journalists associated with the news portal NewsClick.
According to official sources, the Special Cell has registered a case in the matter under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). UAPA is a law designed to be used against terrorisit organization, and enables authorities to detain suspects for up to six months without filing chargesheet. They can also keep suspects in police custody for up to 30 days. Authoritiies have previously indicated that they suspect the owners of the portal to have received money from Chinese sources to fund the daily operations of the organization.
At the same time, it is unusual for journalists of an organization to be raided in a case involving financial mismanagement by the owners or the parent company. In today's raid, the journalists have been questioned and their mobile and laptops were seized by the cops. However, no arrests have been made so far. Senior Journalist Abhisar Sharma took to social media to inform about the raid being conducted at his residence. "Delhi police landed at my home. Taking away my laptop and Phone...," Sharma wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Sources confirmed to the New Indian Express that searches are being made at around a dozen locations, including the office of NewsClick. On August 5, The New York Times published a report titled “A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a US Tech Mogul” which claimed that the news portal NewsClick was part of a global network that received funding from American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government media.
Referring to the NYT report, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur had alleged that the Congress, China and NewsClick are attached to an ‘anti-India umbilical cord’ and the agenda of the Communist Party of China is being pushed through the website. Following the NYT report, the NewsClick had also issued a statement two days later and claimed that the allegations were made against it “are unfounded and without basis in fact or law." (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)