Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 4 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday called the action of the Delhi police a "fascist method" to suppress dissenting voices, following searches in the offices of online news portal NewsClick.
NewsClick founder and Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha and Human Resources Head Amit Chakravarty were arrested and remanded following the raids in connection with a case filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
"Efforts to suppress the media that take up issues ignored by the mainstream media are objectionable. The criticism that the action police against online news portal 'Newsclick' is part of these efforts should be taken seriously. The action of Delhi police against 'Newsclick' should be reconsidered. It is the fascist method to suppress dissenting voices," CM Vijayan said in a post on Facebook.
He further said, "Media has the freedom to gather and publish news truly and freely in the country. The central government should take measures to ensure this freedom."On Tuesday, the Delhi Police arrested founder and Editor-in-Chief of NewsClick Prabir Purkayastha after quizzing them in their office following raids at his premises under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections, the police officials said.
According to the Delhi Police, a total of 37 male suspects have been questioned at the premises, and nine female suspects have been questioned at their respective places of stay.
It further said that the digital devices and documents have been seized and collected for examination.
The Delhi Police's Special Cell on Tuesday afternoon sealed the office of the online news portal in the national capital.
The raids were carried out at more than 30 locations in connection with a case registered on August 17 under UAPA and other sections of IPC, including 153A (promoting enmity between two groups), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
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.
Singham is also said to have close ties with the Chinese government's media machine. (ANI)