By Muslim Mirror Staff
Delhi Police Special Cell on Tuesday said that it has arrested NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and another person Amit Chakravarty.
In a statement, regarding the search, seizure and detentions carried out today in connection with a UAPA case registered with Special Cell, the Delhi Police said that a total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at premises, including nine female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay.
#WATCH | Delhi: Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta working as a consultant with NewsClick says, "Nine police personnel came to my home in Gurugram at 6:30 in the morning. They asked me various questions. I came with them voluntarily to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The… pic.twitter.com/kgWCR1iWSG
— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2023
The police said that digital devices, documents etc. have been seized or collected for examination.
“The proceedings are still ongoing. So far, two accused, Purkayastha and Chakravarty have been arrested,” the Delhi Police said.
The Special Cell swung into action on Tuesday morning and carried out searches at several locations in Delhi NCR, including the office of NewsClick and journalists associated with it. The Delhi Police team also sealed the office of NewsClick in New Delhi.
Media organizations characterized the police’s actions against individuals connected to the NewsClick portal as a further endeavour to suppress freedom of the press. They also expressed their support for the journalists whose properties were subjected to searches.
The Press Club of India, which demanded that the government should come out with the details of the matter, held a spontaneous protest meeting against the multiple raids. “The meeting resolved to continue protest by several journalists bodies for defending media freedom,” it said through its X (formerly Twitter) handle.
A spontaneous protest meeting was held at the Press Club of India against multiple raids on a number of journalists.
The meeting resolved to continue protest by several journalists bodies for defending media freedom. pic.twitter.com/StkNpENpG0
— Press Club of India (@PCITweets) October 3, 2023
The Editors Guild of India (EGI) executive committee released a statement, expressing concern over the raids at the residences of senior journalists. “Their laptops, mobile phones and other devices have been seized. Senior journalists have been taken into custody by the Delhi police, allegedly for ‘questioning.’ Media reports suggest that the raids have been widespread,” it said.
“While we recognise that the law must take its course if actual offences are involved, the due process has to be followed,” the EGI said.
The EGI said: “The investigation of specific offences must not create a general atmosphere of intimidation under the shadow of draconian laws, or impinge on the freedom of expression and the raising of dissenting and critical voices. We remind the government of the importance of an independent media in a functioning democracy, and urge it to ensure that the fourth pillar is respected, nurtured and protected.”
DIGIPUB, in its statement, said: “This coordinated action of the police against news professionals and commentators clearly violates due process and fundamental rights. This has taken the government’s pattern of arbitrary and intimidatory behaviour to a whole other level.”
(with IANS inputs)