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ED raids premises of NewsClick on money laundering charges

Newsclick has been extensively covering the ongoing farmers’ protests.

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday raided and searched the premises of Delhi-based news portal NewsClick and its promoters on charges of alleged money laundering.

The searches took place at the news website’s office in south Delhi’s Saidullajab as well as the homes of its directors and editor-in-chief. News agencies quoted sources, saying the action is being taken to collect additional information to probe money laundering charges against NewsClick and its promoters. IANS reported that the action followed certain inputs that the news outlet allegedly received foreign funding.

“Truth shall prevail. We have full faith in the legal system,” a brief statement issued by NewsClick read. It added that a full statement will be released only after the process is over.

Founded in 2009 by Prabir Purkayastha, NewsClick covers news from India and elsewhere with a focus on progressive movements. It also extensively covered the ongoing farmers’ protests in the country.

Various organisations and individuals, including journalists have expressed concern over the raids, which have come at a time when several FIRs have been registered against scribes and news outlets. "ED raids at Newsclick.in’s office and directors/shareholders’ home since 10 am this morning. This is where I do my shows, Bol Ke Lab Aazad hai tere and Newschakra,” tweeted TV anchor Abhisar Sharma.

“Sad but not surprised that a platform like NewsClick is under attack. It created space for many senior journalists who found working in TV channels impossible. It’s founder Probir Purkayashta fought emergency as well so he knows the ways to fight (sic),” tweeted historian S Irfan Habib.

DIGIPUB News India Foundation, which represents digital platforms, condemned the raids and asked the government to make clear why the news organisation was raided to begin with.

"DIGIPUB News India Foundation believes that the ED raids on NewsClick, its editor and directors, is a clear attempt to suppress journalism critical of the government and its allies. Such use of state agencies to intimidate journalists and suppress adversarial journalism is detrimental to not only the freedom of the press, but also the very idea of democratic accountability. Everyone emerges poorer in the long run," the statement said.

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