Condemn The Attack on NewsClick And Arrest of Prabir Purkayastha And Amit Chakravarty

NewClick Prabir Purkayastha 

On 3rd October 2023, the homes of prominent journalists and human rights activists associated with the online portal Newsclick were raided by the Delhi Police special cell, encompassing more than 30 locations. The culmination of these raids is the arresting of the Prabir Purkayastha, the editor of Newsclick and Amit Chakravarty, the HR head of Newsclick under the draconian UAPA law. These raids come in light of the FIR filed under the draconian UAPA law, Sections 153A (promoting enmity between two groups) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC which allege that the suspected persons have been taking “Chinese terror funding” to foster unrest in India. The targeted persons in this fabricated case are Prabir Purkayastha, video journalist Abhisar Sharma, writer Githa Hariharan, journalist Bhasha Singh, activist and historian Sohail Hashmi, journalist Subodh Verma, comedian Sanjay Rajaura, journalist Urmilesh, veteran journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and economic analyst Aunindyo Chakravarty. Activist Teesta Setalvad’s home in Mumbai was also visited by the Delhi Police for questioning, with Setalvad being the director of Tricontinental Institute of Social Research which writes for Newsclick too. The home of Sitaram Yechury, Secretary-General of Communist Party of India (Marxist) was also searched as the Delhi Police was looking for Sunmit Kumar, a graphics designer for Newsclick who is the son of CPM party office staffer Sri Narayan.

These raids and arrests become part of the overall onslaught on democratic voices all over the country. What began as the attack on Bhagat Singh Students Morcha in Benaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh along with very many intellectuals and kisan activists in the state became a country-wide attack on all streams of democratic rights activists and organizations. In many states, the excuse of the NIA was investigation into “Maoist links” among the various activists it was raiding, which including even an arrest in Telangana just yesterday (2nd October 2023) along with raids in 62 locations all over Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This led to an arrest in Telangana of Chandra Narasimhulu of Pragathiseela Karmika Samakya (PKS) under UAPA. In Jharkhand, be it Gandhian, Marxist-Leninist, anti-caste, Adivasi rights, human rights or civil liberties organizations, 64 such organizations were deemed as part of the NIA’s suspected list of “Maoist-linked” organizations as part of their investigation. In Odisha, the valiant land struggles in Niyamgiri hills and Mali Parbat are being attacked with blatant abductions of activists by the police. In Bihar, the activists associated with Kaimur Mukti Morcha leading a land struggle for the rights of Adivasis were similarly suppressed. Now in Delhi, journalists have been targeted for reporting which exposes the highly undemocratic and anti-people policies of the current government. In preparation of the 2024 elections, like the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which saw the onslaught on democratic movement through the bogus Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, the government has unleashed its agencies against any and all democratic voice, laying out the message that all democratic dissent will result in repression under the regime of Brahmanical Hindutva fascism.

Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) condemns the raids against Newclick  journalists, associated activists and NIA raids all over the country in the name of national security as well as the arrests made after these raids.

CASR demands immediate end to the raids conducted by the Delhi Police and the NIA all over the country and demands the immediate release of all political prisoners arrested after these raids. CASR urges all democratic organizations and activists to come together in united struggle against Brahmanical Hindutva fascism.

Campaign Against State Repression

(AIRSO,AISA,  APCR,BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF,  DISSC, DSU, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , Morcha Patrika, NAPM, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Mnach, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S)

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