The Delhi Police raided former NewsClick employee Anusha Paul’s residence in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta on Friday, 6 October.
During the raid, a three-member Delhi police team recorded her statement and also seized Paul’s phone and laptop.
Paul was questioned, Mathrubhumi reported, about:
Whether she reported on the farmers’ protests
Whether she reported on the 2019-20 CAA-NRC protests
Whether she reported on the Centre’s COVID-19 management
Her previous employment with NewsClick
Her association with Communist Party of India (Marxist)
"This is a witch-hunt to threaten the organisation and its employees who used to raise voice against the Narendra Modi government and the RSS."Anusha Paul to Mathrubhumi
The raid at Paul’s residence comes days after a special cell of the Delhi Police raided the house of over 40 journalists associated with NewsClick.
On Tuesday evening, NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and human resources department head Amit Chakravarty were arrested.
The Delhi Police in its First Information Report (FIR) against NewsClick linked the organisation with "illegally infusing foreign funds" through Chinese telecom companies as part of a "larger criminal conspiracy" to "disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India."
The FIR said that
NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha
Activist and accused in the Bhima Koregaon case Gautam Navlakha
US-based tech mogul Neville Roy Singham
were allegedly a part of a conspiracy "peddling a narrative against India."
A case against Purkayastha has been filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by an Inspector Praveen of the Special Cell police station.
NewsClick had moved the Delhi High Court on Friday to quash the case filed against it under the UAPA, which will be listed on to Monday.
This was preceded by a New York Times (NYT) report published in August 2023 which alleged that the news portal was funded by businessman Singham for "pushing Chinese propaganda."
NewsClick Refutes All Claims in Statement
In a statement released on 3 October, the day of the raids and before Purkayastha was given access to the FIR against him, NewsClick stated,
"We strongly condemn these actions of a Government that refuses to respect journalistic independence, and treats criticism as sedition or “anti-national” propaganda."
The news organisation added, "We want to state for the record:
Newsclick is an independent news website.
Our journalistic content is based on highest standards of the profession.
Newsclick does not publish any news or information at the behest of any Chinese entity or authority, directly or indirectly.
Newsclick does not propagate Chinese propaganda on its website.
Newsclick does not take directions from Neville Roy Singham regarding the content published on its website.
All funding received by Newsclick has been through the appropriate banking channels and have been reported to the relevant authorities as required by law, as substantiated by the Reserve Bank of India in proceedings before the High Court of Delhi."