The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR against NewsClick for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and conducted searches at the residence and office of the portal’s founder Prabir Purkayastha.
On October 3, the news website editor-in-chief and Amit Chakravarty, the head of the portal’s human resources department were arrested by the Delhi Police under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The NewsClick office in Delhi was also sealed.
NewsClick is accused of receiving foreign funds in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The Delhi Police, in its investigation, alleged that funds were fraudulently infused into the portal by an active member of the propaganda department of the Communist Party of China, Neville Roy Singham. But the news website has denied all these allegations.
The FIR alleges that a significant amount of funds from China was sent to the news portal with the intent to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and create disaffection against the country. It further alleges that Prabir Purkayastha conspired with a group called the People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism to sabotage the electoral process.