Washington DC [US], October 4 (ANI): Responding to the raids on journalists in India and allegations of connection to China, the US has said it is aware of these concerns and has taken note of the reporting regarding the affiliations of these outlets with the People's Republic of China (PRC).
"We're aware of those concerns and have seen that reporting about these outlets' ties to the PRC, but we can't comment yet on the veracity of those claims... the US government strongly supports the robust role of the media globally including social media in a vibrant and free democracy, we raise concern of these matters with Indian government and countries around the world through our diplomatic engagements..." said US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel.
Patel was responding to a question about raids on journalists in India and allegations of Chinese link, during a US State Department daily press briefing on Tuesday.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday raided different premises linked to NewsClick in a case registered under UAPA on August 17.
Earlier on August 10 a report in the New York Times had alleged that NewsClick was part of a global network that receives funding from American billionaire Neville Roy Singham.
Singham is known as a socialist benefactor of far-left causes, and is at the centre of a lavishly funded influence campaign that defends China and pushes its propaganda. Neville Roy Singham is said to have close ties to the Chinese government media machine.
The investigation, which is still underway, was launched on the basis of information from central agencies. Sources also said that an FIR was filed at the New Delhi Range of Delhi Police special cell against NewsClick.
As part of the investigation, editor of NewsClick Prabir Purkayastha and writers Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Urmilesh were brought to the special cell offices in the national capital on Tuesday.
Sources said that the first meeting before launching the crackdown was held by the top officials of the special cell on Monday (October 2). The meeting was attended by over 200 police personnel at 2 am at the special cell office in Lodhi colony.
The special team carried out raids at more than 30 locations, sources said, adding that suspects were marked in the A, B, and C categories.
The raids are being conducted on a case registered on August 17 under UAPA and other sections of IPC, which include UAPA, 153A of IPC (promoting enmity between two groups), and 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy).
The raid team on Tuesday morning also reached at Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury's residence to question his staffer Sri Narayan's son Sunmit Kumar. The raid team seized the mobile, laptop, and hard drive of Sunmit Kumar, who works at NewsClick, sources said. (ANI)