"Attempt To Muzzle Media": Editors Guild After Journalists Raided

Searches at the homes of journalists associated with NewsClick were carried at 20-odd locations across Delhi-NCR, prompting protests from the opposition, with some calling it "crackdown on press freedom".

'Attempt To Muzzle Media': Editors Guild After Journalists Raided

Delhi Police taking journalists Pranjoy Guha Thakurata, Urmilesh to special cell office

New Delhi:

Follow due process, and do not make draconian criminal laws "as tools for press intimidation", underlined the Editors Guild of India to the Centre after early morning searches at the homes of journalists under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

"EGI is deeply concerned about the raids at the residences of senior journalists on the morning of October 3, and the subsequent detention of many of those journalists. Urges the state to follow due process, and not to make draconian criminal laws as tools for press intimidation," the non-profit organisation of journalists said in a statement.

Searches at the homes of journalists associated with NewsClick were carried at 20-odd locations across Delhi-NCR, prompting protests from the opposition, with some calling it "crackdown on press freedom".

The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial frauds, believes NewsClick received nearly Rs 38 crore from entities with alleged links to China. This money was allegedly used for salaries of eight journalists. Overall, at least 10 journalists with connections to NewsClick were raided today.

"EGI is concerned that these raids are yet another attempt to muzzle the media. While we recognise that the law must take its course if actual offences are involved, the due process has to be followed. The investigation of specific offences must not create a general atmosphere of intimidation under the shadow of draconian laws, or impinge on the freedom of expression and the raising of dissenting and critical voices," said the Editors Guild.

Defending the government, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that probe agencies are free to carry out probe "if anyone has committed anything wrong".

"We remind the government of the importance of an independent media in a functioning democracy, and urge it to ensure that the fourth pillar is respected, nurtured and protected," it said further.

In August, The New York Times had claimed NewsClick is among organisations funded by American millionaire Neville Roy Singham's global network that pushes Chinese propaganda.
 

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