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Thursday, March 04, 2021

‘Unsavoury attack on media’: EGI, PCI condemn raids at premises of NewsClick portal, promoters

Separate ED teams had 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 in connection with an alleged money laundering case.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 10, 2021 3:15:22 pm
newsclick, newsclick raidsED officials look through files at the office of Newsclick , during a raid in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

In the wake of Enforcement Directorate raids at the office premises of news portal NewsClick, the Editors Guild of India and the Press Club of India Wednesday expressed deep concerns calling it an “unsavoury attack” on the media “to intimidate and silence critical journalism”.

The ED on Tuesday carried out searches on the premises of news portal NewsClick and its promoters spread across Delhi and Ghaziabad — an action which is said to be undertaken to collect additional information to probe money laundering charges against the news company.

Responding to the incident, the EGI raised concerns and urged that the news portal’s operations should not be undermined and its journalists and stakeholders are not harassed in any manner.

The Press Club of India, meanwhile, hit out at the government saying that “publicising the charge of alleged money laundering against a small, public-spirited news company was no way to defend democratic values and institutions. It added that attacks on journalists has “become the hallmark of the government”.

The PCI further demanded the government to end “raid raj” and “false allegations raj” against the media and take visible steps to ensure democratic freedoms such as free speech and right to liberty.

Separate ED teams had 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.

According to reports, the probe is linked to some suspected foreign funding.

“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 had 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.

Owned by PPK NEWSCLICK Studio Private Limited, NewsClick also focuses extensively on science and technology, and data journalism besides social and political issues. It has a presence on all major social media platforms.

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