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NewsClick Denies FIR Allegations as Baseless and Bogus

The NewsClick portal has vehemently rejected the allegations outlined in a Delhi Police FIR, branding them as “untenable and bogus.” They assert that these actions represent a blatant attempt to suppress independent journalism in India.

The FIR, which falls under the anti-terror law UAPA, accuses NewsClick of receiving substantial funds from China to undermine India’s sovereignty as part of a broader criminal conspiracy. The police specifically name Neville Roy Singham, a purported member of the Communist Party of China’s propaganda department, as the perpetrator of this alleged fraud. NewsClick was officially served with a copy of the FIR on Friday.

In a statement released on Friday night, NewsClick declared, “The Newsclick has not received any funding or instructions from China or Chinese entities. Further, Newsclick has never committed or sought to encourage violence, secession, or any illegal act in any manner whatsoever. A perusal of Newsclick’s coverage, which is freely available online, should be sufficient to indicate the veracity of Newsclick’s claims.”

They expressed their unwavering faith in the country’s judicial system and their confidence that their position will ultimately be vindicated.

Following the arrests of NewsClick founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakravarty on Monday, subsequent raids were conducted at nearly 88 locations related to the portal and its journalists by Delhi Police. NewsClick contends that these FIR allegations have been repeatedly investigated by three government agencies—the Enforcement Directorate, the Economic Offences Wing, Delhi Police, and the income tax department—none of which resulted in chargesheets or complaints over the last three years.

NewsClick maintains that the latest FIR was registered to circumvent Purkayastha’s interim protection and enable “illegal arrests” under the draconian UAPA. They revealed that Purkayastha was provided with a copy of the FIR by the Delhi Police Special Cell only on Thursday night, following the Special Judge’s directives at Patiala House. They promptly filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking the quashing of the FIR and the release of Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty from police custody.

The Delhi Police has registered the FIR under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code, accusing Purkayastha and the HR head of receiving foreign funds from China with the intent of disrupting India’s sovereignty and causing disaffection against the country.

Furthermore, the Delhi Police intends to question ten individuals named in the FIR, including senior journalists at NewsClick and contributors. Additional individuals allegedly connected to the case have also been summoned for questioning, with approximately 20 people questioned already during Thursday and Friday.


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