NewsClick : Kerala home raided of an employee by Delhi Police; 8 journalists questioned

Delhi Police, which has launched a massive crackdown on NewsClick, raided the residence of former news portal employee Anusha Paul near Kodumon in Pathanamthitta, Kerala and allegedly seized her laptop and computer for investigation as part of the investigation into alleged funding. The phone was confiscated from China.

Paul told reporters on Friday that a three-member Delhi Police team recorded his statement and seized electronic devices, news agency PTI reported. According to Paul, he was questioned about his association with Newsclick and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The journalist claimed that the questions were related to whether he had reported about the farmers’ protests, the National Register of Citizens-Citizenship Amendment Act (NRC-CAA) protests, or the Centre’s COVID-19 management.

“This is a conspiracy to threaten the organization and its employees who used to raise their voice against the Narendra Modi government and the RSS,” news agency quoted Paul as saying.

Paul was staying in Kerala for the treatment of a close family member. She said Delhi Police asked her if she knew CPI(M) Delhi state secretary KM Tiwari.

“Of course, I know him. I told him this. He is the state secretary of CPI(M). I am a CPI(M) worker. I am a state committee member of the Delhi unit of the Democratic Youth Federation.” of India (DYFI) and its state treasurers,” she said.

However, Paul said that Kerala Police was not part of the raid team. The Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Newsclick founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and HR department head Amit Chakraborty on Tuesday evening, when a total of 46 journalists and contributors to the online news portal were questioned and their mobile phones and other documents were seized. Electronic gadgets were confiscated.

On Friday, the Special Cell questioned at least eight NewsClick journalists and contributors concerning their case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for the second time in a week.

He was called to the Special Cell office in the afternoon and interrogated till late evening.

A total of 46 journalists and contributors to online news portals were questioned throughout the day on Tuesday and their mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were seized.

After the first round of questioning on Tuesday, the investigators had asked him to appear for the second time. “Investigators are questioning eight to 10 people connected to the case every day,” a police source told news agency.

On Thursday, it questioned journalists Urmilesh and Abhisar Sharma and some others for the second time. On Friday, senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, who was among those interrogated on Tuesday, was also called for questioning for the second time.

Guha Thakurta told over phone that he could not appear before the special cell as he was out of the city. He said, “Now the Special Cell has asked me to come on October 10 or 11.”

(with inputs from agencies)