Updated: February 13, 2021 9:12:35 am
As searches at the residence of NewsClick’s founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha continued for the fourth straight day on Friday, the online news portal issued a statement saying the team is cooperating with the Enforcement Directorate.
It said “as of Friday afternoon, ED raids have been going on at the house of” Purkayastha, “for close to 80 hours”. Purkayastha and author Githa Hariharan have been “detained in their house since the beginning of the raid”, it said.
Newslick’s office “was raided for over 36 hours and some equipment vital to our functioning as a news organisation was seized” and “communication devices of directors and senior management have also been seized, which has, therefore, limited their ability to return to work or indeed, respond to queries of the media”, the statement said. Despite this, the statement said, NewsClick “has cooperated fully with the authorities, and will continue to do so…We have nothing to hide, as we have operated completely in accordance with the law.”
The statement said that “we are, however, disturbed to note reports in various media outlets based on information allegedly provided by senior officials of the Enforcement Directorate”, adding that the “selective leak of misleading facts is nothing but a malicious attempt to smear the image of NewsClick and discredit our journalism”. Further, the statement said, “It also constitutes a violation of the sanctity of the legal and investigative process.”
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A lawyer from Phoenix Legal, which is representing NewsClick and its directors told, The Indian Express, “The raid is going on. We have not had a chance to understand from the clients what has happened. In fact, the clients are also not aware of entire details, what is the allegation and why are they being investigated. We are not aware of any particular FIR etc. We are ourselves in the dark and we don’t know exactly why we are being investigated.”
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