Updated: February 10, 2021 8:49:50 am
The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches Tuesday at the office premises of news portal NewsClick and residences of its editors.
ED officials said the searches, spread across Delhi and Ghaziabad, were being conducted in connection with a case of alleged money laundering.
Separate ED teams launched search operations at the portal’s office at Saidulajab in South Delhi and at the residences of NewsClick editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and editor Pranjal Pandey, apart from certain others associated with the company.
“Searches are being conducted at the portal’s office and the residence of some of the directors of the company running the portal. The company has received some funds from abroad and the same is being investigated under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” an ED official said.
The ED case, the official said, was based on an FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police about a month ago.
A brief statement from NewsClick said: “Truth shall prevail. We have full faith in the legal system.” It said the raids were still underway and a full statement would be released once the process was over.
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Earlier, speaking to reporters, editor Pranjal Pandey said: “There has been an ongoing raid since morning. We were shown a notice. Right now our documents are being checked. We are cooperating and will continue to cooperate.”
In a statement, DIGIPUB News India Foundation, an industry body of digital-only media ventures, of which Purkayastha is the Vice Chairperson, condemned the ED searches, and called it a “clear attempt to suppress journalism critical of the government and its allies”.
Purkayastha was jailed during the Emergency when he was a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. He founded NewsClick in 2009. On its website, it describes itself as an “independent media organisation dedicated to covering news from India and elsewhere with a focus on progressive movements”.
Owned by PPK NEWSCLICK Studio Private Limited, NewsClick also focuses extensively on science and technology, and data journalism. It has a presence on all major social media platforms.
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