Delhi Police Chargesheet Accuses Newsclick Founder of Terror Funding and Chinese Propaganda

Published on: May 01, 2024 11:59 IST

Delhi Police have filed a comprehensive chargesheet against Newsclick, a prominent news portal, and its founder Prabir Purkayastha, leveling grave accusations including terror funding and dissemination of Chinese propaganda. The chargesheet, spanning nearly 8,000 pages with annexures, implicates Mr. Purkayastha in various activities, ranging from alleged involvement in the farmers’ protests to promoting disinformation campaigns.

Key Accusations:

  1. Terror Financing Allegations: The chargesheet alleges that Mr. Purkayastha orchestrated the collection of funds for terrorist activities, with evidence suggesting links to organizations like the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba. It asserts that approximately ₹91 crore were funneled through Newsclick for such purposes.
  2. Disinformation Campaign: Mr. Purkayastha stands accused of altering maps to depict India without territories like Kashmir and Aksai Chin, aligning with Chinese territorial claims. Additionally, Newsclick is accused of spreading misinformation, particularly regarding protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens.
  3. Incitement of Protests and Riots: The chargesheet alleges Mr. Purkayastha’s involvement in instigating farmers’ protests and the 2020 Delhi riots, alongside funding terrorist organizations. Newsclick is further accused of mobilizing masses against the CAA/NRC and inciting hatred through its content.
  4. Covid Vaccine Misinformation: Mr. Purkayastha faces allegations of conspiring to publish articles against Indian-made vaccines in collaboration with Neville Roy Singham and others, thereby defaming the Indian government.
  5. Links with Maoists: The Delhi Police claim Mr. Purkayastha maintained active connections with the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and provided financial support for their activities.
  6. Chinese Propaganda Allegations: Both Mr. Purkayastha and Newsclick are accused of promoting Chinese propaganda, purportedly receiving substantial funds for this purpose, raising concerns about journalistic integrity and independence.

The Patiala House Court in Delhi has acknowledged the chargesheet, setting May 31 as the date of the hearing, marking a significant milestone in this high-profile case. Mr. Purkayastha and Amit Chakravarty, the head of HR at Newsclick, were arrested last year under the UAPA and have been held in Delhi’s Tihar Jail since then.

This development underscores the intensifying scrutiny faced by media organizations amid allegations of promoting disinformation and engaging in activities detrimental to national security.

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