Newsclick Founder Accused of Terror Funding and Chinese Propaganda in 8,000-Page Chargesheet

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GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 1st May. 
The Delhi Police has filed a comprehensive chargesheet against Newsclick, a prominent news portal, and its founder Prabir Purkayastha, alleging various serious offenses including terror funding and promoting Chinese propaganda. The chargesheet, spanning nearly 8,000 pages with annexures, also implicates Mr. Purkayastha in connection with the farmers’ protests and the 2020 Delhi riots.

Under the lens of the anti-terror law UAPA, Mr. Purkayastha stands accused of purportedly receiving funding to disseminate Chinese propaganda within India. Both he and Newsclick’s HR head, Amit Chakravarty, were arrested on October 3 last year by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell, following raids across the city. They have been charged under the UAPA and have remained incarcerated in Delhi’s Tihar Jail since then.

Key Allegations:

1. Terror Financing Claims: The Delhi Police asserts that Mr. Purkayastha played a role in collecting funds for terrorist activities, linking him to a conspiracy aimed at supporting banned outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba. It is alleged that a staggering amount of ₹91 crore was channeled through Newsclick for these purposes.

2. Disinformation Campaign: Mr. Purkayastha is accused of manipulating maps to portray India without Kashmir and Aksai Chin, essentially endorsing Chinese territorial claims. Newsclick is further alleged to have conducted a malicious disinformation campaign, particularly surrounding protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

3. Incitement of Protests and Riots: The chargesheet suggests that Mr. Purkayastha conspired to fuel the farmers’ protests and Delhi riots while also allegedly funding various terrorist organizations. It accuses Newsclick of mobilizing masses against the CAA/NRC, spreading misinformation, and inciting hatred through its content.

4. Covid Vaccine Misinformation: Mr. Purkayastha is accused of colluding with Neville Roy Singham, an American millionaire, and others to publish articles disparaging vaccines made by Indian pharmaceutical companies, thereby tarnishing the Indian government’s image.

5. Links with Maoists: The Delhi Police claims that Mr. Purkayastha maintained active connections with the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and provided financial support for their activities.

6. Chinese Propaganda Allegations: Mr. Purkayastha and Newsclick are accused of propagating Chinese propaganda through their platform, allegedly receiving substantial funds for this purpose, which raises concerns about the integrity and independence of the news portal.

The Patiala House Court in Delhi has acknowledged the chargesheet and scheduled May 31 for the commencement of the hearing.

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