The Delhi Police Special Cell has lodged a fresh case against NewsClick under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The houses of several journalists were searched in the national capital on Tuesday and around 10 of them were detained.
The news outlet’s premises were also searched.
A NewsClick reporter was detained from his residence in south Delhi. A source said a team of around seven police personnel, including two in plainclothes, came to his house around 7.15 am and questioned him for an hour. “They said they would let him go today…they left around 8.15 am,” said a family member.
Senior journalist Urmilesh was also detained. “Urmilesh’s wife informed me that he has been arrested by Delhi Police. I have no other details as of now,” the journalist’s lawyer told .
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier attached the portal’s assets after initiating a probe into its funding. The action had come after The New York Times was among Chinese propaganda outlets being funded by American tech mogul Neville Roy Singham. Union ministers Anurag Thakur and Rajeev Chandrasekhar had held a press conference on NYT’s report to claim China, the Indian National Congress and NewsClick are part of an “umbilical cord”. .
A police officer told Newslaundry that a UAPA case was lodged against the portal in August, days after the NYT report.
Meanwhile, among those whose homes were reportedly searched were journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Abhisar Sharma, Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakraborty and Bhasha Singh, besides satirist Sanjay Rajaura and activist Sohail Hashmi.
Abhisar Sharma and Bhasha Singh confirmed the development on social media.
NewsClick has against it as “false and misleading”, “unfounded and without basis in fact or law”. Multiple press groups the allegations are “unwarranted and condemnable”. The media house had been the by the Enforcement Directorate in 2021.
Newslaundry found police personnel and a CISF staffer deployed outside Bhasha Singh's residence in the national capital on Tuesday morning.
This is a developing story. Further details are awaited.