Police in New Delhi have raided the homes of prominent journalists linked to a left-leaning news organization known for its scrutiny of the Indian government, in a move media groups called an attack on press freedoms.
Forty-six people were questioned, and digital devices and documents had been seized for examination as part of an investigation under an anti-terror law, Delhi police said in a short statement following the raid on Tuesday.
Those questioned include reporters, editors and contributors linked to NewsClick, an independent news website known for being fiercely critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Police said they had arrested the outlet’s founder and editor, Prabir Purkayastha, and a colleague, Amit Chakravarty, and an investigation is under way in connection with India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, an anti-terror law that critics describe as “draconian” and makes it nearly impossible to receive bail.
Newsclick on Wednesday described the raids as an “attempt to shut down and stifle independent and fearless voices that portray the story of the real India.”
“We strongly condemn these actions of a government that refuses to respect journalistic independence, and treats criticism as sedition or ‘anti-national’ propaganda,” it said in a statement posted on its website.