New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday morning raided the residences of several officials and journalists associated with NewsClick.in, an independent media portal based in Delhi.
Sources within the media group confirmed to The Wire that those raided included owner Prabir Purkayastha and editor Pranjal. According to The Hindu, the organisation’s office in Delhi’s Saidulajab was also raided.
The Wire‘s public editor Pamela Philipose tweeted in the evening that the raids were still ongoing.
Githa Hariharan of Newsclick wants friends to know that the raids are still ongoing. She is well. In solidarity with her and the Newsclick team!
— pamela philipose (@pamelaphilipose) February 9, 2021
According to The Quint, the ED said the raids on NewsClick were linked to an alleged money laundering case and the agency was probing funding the organisation had received from “dubious companies” abroad.
“There’s a search going on since morning, also at some of our houses. We are cooperating and will continue to cooperate. They are searching through the documents and have given us a notice,” Pranjal was quoted as saying.
Anchor Abhisar Sharma, who hosts two YouTube programmes for NewsClick, also confirmed the raid on Twitter.
— Abhisar Sharma (@abhisar_sharma) February 9, 2021
Some journalists took to social media to say that the ED raid on NewsClick was the government’s latest attempt to harass journalists who do no toe the official line.
Sedition cases, UAPA, FIRs for 153, 505, etc, frivolous defamation suits and now ED raids, this is how the government handles India’s independent media. @newsclickin is the latest target… https://t.co/RSsMLOqTfK via @thewire_in
— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) February 9, 2021
Modi government’s assault on media continues with ED raid on @newsclickin office, homes of owner Prabir Purkayastha and editor Pranjal, in Delhi. NewsClick was one of the last bastions of critical reporting on the government’s policies.
— Mohammad Ali (@hindureporter) February 9, 2021
Attacks on the media continue with ED raid on @newsclickin office, homes of owner Prabir Purkayastha and editor Pranjal, in Delhi.
— Sridhar V (@sritara) February 9, 2021
Modi government’s assault on media continues with ED raid on @newsclickin office, homes of owner Prabir Purkayastha and editor Pranjal, in Delhi. NewsClick was one of the last bastions of critical reporting on the government’s policies.@KashifKakvi @abhisar_sharma @newsclickin
— Rishav Raj Singh (@catch_rishav) February 9, 2021
DIGIPUB News India Foundation, formed by digital media organisations and freelancers, has published a release strongly condemning the raids. NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha is DIGIPUB’s vice chairperson.
“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 reads.
This is a developing story. More details will be added as received.