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Newsclick: Agartala Press Club Expressed Serious Concern Over Police Action Against Journalists

The Agartala Press Club has expressed serious concern over the police action at the office of Newsclick and the harassment of journalists, workers associated with the media and the arrest of the editor.

The Agartala Press Club has demanded that no outrageous incident should take place in the investigation of this incident.

Meanwhile various organizations including the Editors Guild of India (EGI), Press Club of India condemned the Delhi Police raid on news portal NewsClick and its journalists, with alleging that it is an attempt to “suppress” the press. 

EGI issued a statement saying it is deeply concerned about the raids on the residences of senior journalists on Tuesday morning. It said the raids were another attempt to “silence the media”.

“We remind the government of the importance of independent media in a functioning democracy and urge it to ensure that the fourth estate is respected, nurtured and protected,” the guild said.

The guild said, “While we believe that if genuine crimes are involved the law must take its course, due process must be followed. Investigations into specific crimes should not create a general atmosphere of intimidation under the shadow of draconian laws , or freedom of expression and raising dissent and critical voices.”

In a post on Twitter, the Press Club of India (PCI) said it is extremely concerned about the raids. 

“We are monitoring the developments and will issue a detailed statement. PCI stands in solidarity with journalists and demands the government provide details,” it said.

A spontaneous protest meeting was organized at the PCI here against the police action. The meeting resolved to continue the protest to protect media freedom. The Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) said “this harassment” of the media by government agencies must stop.

A statement said, “A vibrant democracy will never remain vibrant if the media is not given space to freely analyze government policies. Elected democracies have a great responsibility to ensure that the media operates in an unhindered manner.”

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia said it was deeply concerned by the recent series of raids on journalists. Journalism is an essential pillar of any democratic society and freedom of the press is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, it said in a statement.

It said, “We understand that the rule of law is important and such action is based on an FIR against a news organization and an ongoing investigation. The FCC, however, calls on authorities to respect the fundamental rights of journalists and uphold the principles of Urges and uphold the principles of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in accordance with the Constitution of India.”

Expressing concern over the police action against the news portal’s journalists, DIGIPUB News India Foundation said, “They have been detained, their phones and laptops have been confiscated. This is yet another example of the government’s arbitrary and intimidating behavior.” This is an example. We are monitoring the developments.”

However The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier raided the premises of the portal to investigate its sources of funding. Officials said the Special Cell is now continuing the search based on the inputs provided by the central agency.

It said that the Special Cell has registered a new case under UAPA and started investigation. 

Officials aware of the developments said police have recovered dumped data from the laptops and mobile phones of some NewsClick journalists.

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