Delhi Police has raided the office of news portal NewsClick and the houses of many journalists associated with it.
Officials of the Special Cell of Delhi Police reached the homes of many journalists on Tuesday morning and confiscated their mobile phones and laptops.
According to news agency PTI, officials say that this action is being taken in connection with a new case registered against Newsclick portal and some people associated with it.
Delhi Police has taken action against those working for the portal, including many senior journalists including Paronjay Guha Thakurta, Urmilesh, Abhisar Sharma and Bhasha Singh.
Some people, including senior journalists Urmilesh and Paronjay Guha Thakurta, have also been taken to the Lodhi Road office of the Special Cell of Delhi Police for questioning.
But according to PTI, no one has been arrested yet. Urmilesh’s lawyer, , says that he has been trying since 10 am, but the police is not ready to tell him anything about the FIR or the allegations against his client.
Senior journalist Abhisar Sharma, while giving information about the seizure of his mobile phone and laptop by the police through a social media post, wrote on X (Twitter), “Delhi Police reached my house. They are taking away my laptop and phone.”
Senior journalist Bhasha Singh has also written about this on X, “This is my last tweet from this phone. Delhi Police is confiscating my phone.”
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also raided the office of Newsclick portal. It was then claimed that this raid was conducted to find out the source of funding of Newsclick.
According to the news agency, the Special Cell of Delhi Police is now conducting raids on the basis of inputs received from ED.
Officials said PTI that the police have collected data from the laptops and mobile phones of some journalists working for Newsclick.
The Press Club of India has strongly criticized this action of Delhi Police against journalists. In a statement issued on club said We are monitoring the situation and will issue a detailed statement in this regard soon.
“The Press Club of India expresses solidarity with the journalists and demands that the government disclose complete information about this matter to everyone.”
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan has strongly criticized this police action against journalists, calling it an undeclared emergency.
He wrote on X, “How can the police seize mobiles and laptops of journalists without showing any FIR or court order? This is a blatant violation of the right to privacy. How can they raid independent journalists on the basis of an absurd FIR filed under UAPA against Newsclick? This is an undeclared emergency.”
According to the Indian Express, the police have said that no one has been arrested so far, but based on the investigation, some people may be detained.
In August this year, a news in The New York Times claimed that NewsClick was among those organizations which receive funding from a network associated with American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, so that they can carry forward China’s propaganda.
News Click founder Prabir Purkayastha, while reacting to this report, had said that such allegations have been made earlier also.
He had said that this matter is in the court, hence we will answer it in the court only. The Income Tax Department also raided Newsclick in 2021.
Meanwhile In a joint statement released by INDIA bloc, the opposition said it strongly condemns the “government’s fresh attack on the media.”
INDIA Bloc mentioned:
In the last nine years, the BJP government has deliberately persecuted and suppressed the media by deployinginvestigative agencies to suppress the British Broadcasting Corporation, Newslaundry, Dainik Bhaskar, Bharat Samachar, the Kashmir Walla, the Wire etc., and most recently the journalists of NewsClick.
The BJP government’s coercive actions are invariably directed against only those media organisations and journalists that speak truth to power. Ironically, the BJP government is paralysed when it comes to taking action against those journalists inciting hatred and divisiveness in the nation.