New Delhi4 hours ago
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Five agencies including CBI, ED are investigating the allegations of Chinese funding on Newsclick.
The HR head of news portal Newsclick, which is accused of taking funding from companies and organizations linked to China, has applied to become a government witness. Amit Chakraborty on Monday (December 25) filed a petition in a Delhi court to become a government witness. He said that I have important information which I want to share with the police.
Last week too, Chakraborty had filed a petition in a Delhi court requesting pardon in the Newsclick case. On October 3, Delhi Police raided the houses of several journalists associated with the news portal. After this, the police arrested NewsClick founders Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty. At present both are in judicial custody.
On October 10, the court had sent Prabir-Amit to judicial custody for 10 days.
Judicial custody extended till January 20
On December 19, the police had filed a petition in the Patiala House Court seeking three more months’ time to complete the investigation of the case. Justice Hardeep Kaur accepted Delhi Police’s plea on December 22 and granted additional time of 60 days to complete the investigation. The court also extended the judicial custody of Prabir Purkayastha and others till January 20, 2024.
5 agencies including CBI are investigating the case
Five agencies including CBI are investigating the allegations against Newsclick. The Special Cell of Delhi Police first registered an FIR in the matter. Delhi Police Economic Offenses Wing, ED and Income Tax are investigating different matters related to this case. CBI has registered a case under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
Read the entire Newsclick case sequentially…
5 August 2023: A report appeared in the New York Times. It was told that some groups in Britain and America are busy promoting China’s propaganda. When these organizations were investigated, it was revealed that American millionaire Neville Roy Singham was funding them. According to the Times, Neville Roy is associated with organizations that promote China’s achievements in the world.
The New York Times investigation revealed that many groups are associated with Singham, including a think tank in Massachusetts, an organization in Manhattan, a political party in South Africa, news organizations in India and Brazil. They have resources worth billions of dollars. Singham runs ThoughtWorks, a software consultancy company in Chicago. An Indian news website is also linked to it. Singham, 69, lives in Shanghai. There his network runs a show on YouTube. The Propaganda Department of Shanghai also gives some money for this.
7 August 2023: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had raised the issue of Chinese funding to Newsclick in the Lok Sabha, citing the New York Times report. Union Minister Anurag Thakur also alleged in a press conference that Congress, China and controversial news website Newsclick are connected by the same umbilical cord. Neighboring stuff can be clearly seen in Rahul Gandhi’s ‘fake love shop’. His love for China is visible. They are running an anti-India campaign.
17 August 2023: Based on the New York Times report, Delhi Police registered a case against Newsclick. Section 153 (A) of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race) as well as several sections of UAPA (13, 16, 17, 18 and 22) have been imposed against them. Section 16 – related to terrorist matters, Section 17 – raising funding for terrorist activities, Section 18 – punishment for conspiracy, Section 22C – punishment for crimes committed by companies.
22 August 2023: Delhi High Court had given notice to Prabir Purkayastha, Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick. This notice was given on the petition of the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police. In the petition, the police had appealed to withdraw the interim order of the court, in which there was a ban on taking strict action against the news site.
In fact, on July 7, 2021, Delhi High Court had ordered not to arrest Prabir Purkayastha. However, the court had said that Purkayastha will have to cooperate in the investigation as per the instructions of the authorities. Following the petition by Delhi Police, the court had sought a reply from Purkayastha in this matter.
3 October 2023: Delhi Police had raided more than 30 locations associated with Newsclick. Police said that 46 people including 9 women were interrogated. These include journalists Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakraborty, Abhisar Sharma, Pranjay Guha and historian Sohail Hashmi. They were released after about 6 hours of interrogation. Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty were arrested by the police.
4 October 2023: Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty were produced in the court on 4 October, where the trial court sent both of them to police remand for 7 days (11 October). On the other hand, the police also sealed the office of Newsclick.
6 October 2023: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, on behalf of Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty, had appealed to the Delhi High Court for urgent hearing in this matter. He challenged the arrest of both and their 7-day police custody. The court was demanded to grant immediate release to Prabir and Amit as interim relief. The petition was heard on October 6, when the court issued a notice to Delhi Police seeking its reply.
9 October 2023: Prabir and Amit’s lawyer said in the High Court that the arrest and remand of my clients cannot be sustained on many legal grounds. The police did not tell him the reason during his arrest. The remand order was issued in the absence of Prabir and Amit’s counsel in the trial court. After hearing the arguments of both the parties, Justice Tushar Rao Gedela reserved the order.
10 October 2023: Newsclick founder Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakraborty were sent to 10-day judicial custody.
11 October 2023: CBI searched the house of Prabir Purkayastha and interrogated Purkayastha’s wife.
18 October 2023: Purkayastha and Amit had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against their arrest, which was heard. The two-judge bench adjourned it for hearing again the next day.
19 October 2023: The second day of hearing regarding the arrest was held in the Supreme Court. In this the court issued notice to Delhi Police.
25 October 2023: On the demand of Delhi Police, the trial court had extended the custody of Prabir and Amit Chakraborty by 9 days for interrogation.
27 October 2023: HR head Amit Chakraborty appealed to the court for bail and also Chakraborty and Purkayastha had demanded return of the mobiles and other electronic devices seized by Delhi Police.
6 November 2023: The court had postponed the petition of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and HR head Amit Chakraborty till the Diwali holidays.
18 December 2023: The court rejected the plea of Chakraborty and Purkayastha to return the mobiles and other electronic devices seized by Delhi Police.
19 December 2023: On the demand of the police, the court gave 60 more days to complete the investigation and also extended the judicial custody of Prabir Purkayastha and HR chief Amit Chakraborty till January 20, 2024.