The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR against news portal NewsClick for allegedly violating foreign funding regulations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
The CBI conducted raids at two locations connected to the website's Editor-in-Chief and founder, Prabir Purkayastha, on Wednesday (10 October) morning.
A team of CBI officials searched the residence and office of the founder of NewsClick, who was recently arrested by the Delhi Police in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The CBI initiated the probe into the case one day after a Delhi court sent Prabir Purkayastha and NewsClick HR head Amit Chakravarty to 10-day judicial custody.
Both individuals were arrested on allegations that the news portal accepted money to spread pro-China propaganda.
On 3 October, Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty were arrested, and the NewsClick office was sealed.
According to the FIR, a large amount of funds from China were received by the news portal with the intention to "disrupt the sovereignty of India" and cause disaffection against the country.
It also alleges that Purkayastha conspired with a group called People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Raids were carried out on 3 October at a total of 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states.
The targets of these raids were individuals named in the FIR and those identified during data analysis.
The offices of NewsClick and the homes of the journalists under investigation were searched, resulting in the seizure of around 300 electronic devices.
Following the raids, the Special Cell questioned a total of 46 individuals, including nine female journalists, in Delhi and NCR.
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