Online portal Newsclick on Friday expressed displeasure about the selective leaks to the media about the ongoing raids at its office in Delhi, three days after the Enforcement Directorate began the action in connection with an alleged money laundering case. The website’s Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha’s residence is also being raided.
“As of Friday afternoon, ED raids have been going on at the house of Newsclick’s Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha for close to 80 hours,” the website’s statement, titled Selective Media Leaks an Attempt to Malign Newsclick, read. “Prabir Purkayastha and author Githa Hariharan have been detained in their house since the beginning of the raid.”
The media organisation said it was disturbed to see reports on media outlets based on information allegedly provided by senior Enforcement Directorate officials. “The selective leak of misleading facts is nothing but a malicious attempt to smear the image of Newsclick and discredit our journalism,” the portal’s statement read. “It also constitutes a violation of the sanctity of the legal and investigative process.”
The news portal said that its office was raided first for more than 36 hours and some equipment important to the operation of the news organisation was seized. “Communication devices of directors and senior management have also been seized, which has, therefore, limited their ability to return to work or indeed, respond to queries of the media,” the statement said. “Despite this harassment, Newsclick has cooperated fully with the authorities, and will continue to do so. We have nothing to hide, as we have operated completely in accordance with the law.”
The news website reiterated that the raids seemed to be part of a pattern of “deploying government agencies against those who refuse to toe the establishment’s line”. “We are deeply thankful for all the solidarity that we have received, and would like to convey to our well-wishers that we will resist all attempts at intimidation and continue our independent journalism,” it said.
On Wednesday, in a statement, the news portal had said that it had become routine for the Centre to “deploy government-controlled agencies to deal with all those who disagree with and criticise the government”. The news portal added that the legal instruments available to the Centre were used for “politically motivated coercive actions”.
The Editors Guild of India, The Press Club of India and The Communist Party of India (Marxist) are among those who have condemned the action against the news portal.
- Newsclick says ‘our voice can’t be muzzled’ as ED raids continue for over 30 hours
- ED raids office of Newsclick, residences of senior management for alleged money laundering