In a shocking development, renowned journalist Prabir Purkayastha, the founder of NewsClick, and Amit Chakravarty, the Human Resources head of the news portal, have been arrested under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. These arrests have sent ripples through the media community and have raised concerns about press freedom in India.
The arrests come in the aftermath of a New York Times investigation that alleged NewsClick had received funding from a network promoting Chinese propaganda. The investigative report had triggered a wave of controversy and scrutiny around the news portal’s financial transactions and associations.
Earlier today, searches were conducted at the residences of several journalists associated with the NewsClick website. This move ignited a political firestorm, with the Opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of attempting to suppress press freedom and intimidate journalists critical of the government.
According to information from police sources, a total of 37 male suspects were questioned at their premises, while 9 female suspects were questioned at their respective places of stay. During these searches, digital devices, documents, and other materials were seized or collected for examination. The investigative proceedings are ongoing, and the police have revealed that so far, two individuals, Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, have been arrested in connection with the case.
These arrests have raised concerns both within India and internationally regarding the freedom of the press and the use of anti-terror laws to target journalists. The situation is likely to intensify the ongoing debate about media independence and government accountability in the country. NewsClick and its associated journalists have been prominent voices in India’s media landscape, making this development a matter of significant public interest and concern.