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Thursday, May 23, 2024

NewsClick faces UAPA: What is the media portal’s Chinese connection?


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On Tuesday, October 3, Delhi police raided the homes of several journalists associated with NewsClick, including Abhisar Sharma, Sanjay Rajoura, Bhasha Singh, Urmilesh, and Prabir Purkayastha. On Tuesday morning, Abhisar Sharma took to X to confirm that the police confiscated his laptop and mobile phone.

More than 30 locations were raided by the Delhi police’s Special Cell, in connection with the allegations of NewsClick receiving funds from China. The Special Cell has formed a list of 25 questions for the NewsClick journalists who have been detained for interrogation in this China funding case. The questions pertain to the anti-CAA riots, the northeast Delhi riots, the farmers protest, and even the details of the journalists’ foreign travels. No arrests have been made so far.

It was back in 2021 that the ED had conducted raids on NewsClick Founder, Prabir Purkayastha’s home, and had found suspicious financial transactions and documents. It was then that the ED had discovered that the media outlet had received a foreign direct investment of Rs 10 crores from an American company, but could not provide proof of the work done for the company.

Another Rs 20 crores were transferred to the media outlet, marked as ‘export remittance’, but was actually to upload content to the People’s Dispatch Portal. Purkayastha took Rs 1.5 crore for ‘maintenance’ but hired an unqualified electrician. At the time of these 2021 ED raids, Abhisar Sharma was working for NewsClick. Another employee of the media organization, had received Rs. 52 lakhs from an American company, and had links to the CPI.

Allegedly, NewsClick is financed by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) supporter, Neville Roy Singham, who funds propaganda outlets worldwide, including NewsClick, to peddle Chinese propaganda. In the past, NewsClick was seen repeating the Chinese government’s talking points. Through NewsClick, Abhisar Sharma has spread fake news and anti-India narratives. It has also been alleged that NewsClick was paid to defend China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The raids on Tuesday were conducted, based on a case registered on August 17 under UAPA, and other sections of the IPC, including Section 153A, and Section 120B.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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