The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday raided the locations linked to media outlet NewsClick in connection with a case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of money laundering and publishing content favouring China on its platform.
The raids are being carried out on the offices of the media outlet and its employees’ residences in the Delhi-NCR region.
NewsClick is being probed by the ED in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case in which the news outlet is accused of taking Rs 38 crore from a Chinese citizen and using it to spread “pro-China propaganda” in India through its news stories.
While sources said NewsClick’s Abhisar Sharma is among the journalists being raided by Delhi Police, Sharma took to X and wrote about the same. “Delhi police landed at my home. Taking away my laptop and Phone…,” he wrote on X.
Another NewsClick journalist, Bhasha Singh, also wrote on X, “Finally last tweet from this phone. Delhi police seizure my phone.”
An August 5 report of the New York Times, headlined, ‘A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a US Tech Mogul’ claimed that NewsClick was a part of a global network that received funding from American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government propaganda machine. “In New Delhi, corporate filings show Singham’s network financed a news site, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points. ‘China’s history continues to inspire the working classes,’ one video said,” the report noted.
Following the report, the news website issued a statement on August 7 and claimed that the allegations were made against it “by certain political actors and sections of the media are unfounded and without basis in fact or law.”
Revealing how a group of influence campaigns, media organisations and shell companies were funded by China, the NYT investigation showed how Singham financed NewsClick which was also a part of the Chinese propaganda.
The ED has previously conducted raid on the news website’s office in New Delhi in 2021 and began an enquiry against the website based on critical evidence of money laundering.
The ED on August 10 moved the Delhi High Court seeking vacation of its interim order directing no coercive action against NewsClick.
NewsClick is a media platform that was founded in 2009 by Prabir Purkayastha, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the organisation. The online news portal covers both Indian and International news and is owned by PPK NEWSCLICK Studio Private Limited.
The news website claims that it reports “diverse people’s movements and struggles” and focuses on “progressive movements.”