A week after police action, CBI FIR against NewsClick over ‘foreign funds’

CBI searched premises linked to the NewsClick founder on Wednesday.

WrittenBy:Pratyush Deep
Date:
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A week after arrests and seizures in a UAPA case filed by the Delhi Police, the Central Bureau of Investigation has now lodged an FIR against NewsClick over allegations of foreign funding violations. 

On Wednesday morning, a team of agency officials searched the residence and office of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, CBI sources said. He was sent to judicial custody on Tuesday after expiry of the five-day police custody in the UAPA case.

“They (CBI) have shown a warrant. But so far they have been very polite from what I know,” a NewsClick staffer told Newslaundry.

The CBI action comes two days after the Delhi High Court reserved its order in their pleas challenging the trial court’s remand order.

NewsClick has denied all the allegations against it and has termed the police action last week as an attempt to “stifle fearless voices”. It has repeatedly refused that it took funds or directions from Chinese entities.

Sixteen press groups earlier wrote to the Chief Justice of India, demanding that the “increasingly repressive use” of investigating agencies against the media be stopped.

Purkayastha and NewsClick’s HR head Amit Chakraborty were arrested on October 3. 

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier attached the portal’s assets after initiating a probe into its funding. This was after The New York Times alleged the news site was among Chinese propaganda outlets funded by American tech mogul Neville Roy Singham. 

The Delhi Police also filed a UAPA case days after the NYT report. In the run up to the arrests, the Delhi police raided over 30 locations and questioned more than 35 journalists. Their electronic devices were also seized.

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