The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday, February 9, conducted raids at the office of Newsclick, a digital news portal, in Delhi's Saidulajab in connection with an alleged money laundering case related to foreign funding.
The search operations and raids were also conducted at the residence of the portal's Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha and human resources head Amit Chakravarty, reported Scroll.in.
Journalist Abhisar Sharma, who hosts two YouTube programmes for NewsClick, said that the raids began at 10 am on Tuesday.
The ED referred to the raids as a "routine check". However, as per reports, the central probing agency was investigating the funding that the news organisation had received from "dubious companies" overseas.
Soon after the news surfaced, DIGIPUB News India Foundation, an 11-member digital-only news organisation, strongly condemned the raids and called it a clear attempt to suppress journalism critical of the government and its allies.
"Such use of state agencies to intimidate journalists and suppress adversarial journalism is detrimental to not only the freedom of the press but also the very idea of democratic accountability," the organisation said in a statement.
"A free press, so integral to the preservation of democracy, can't survive if journalists aren't allowed to carry their professional work without fear," it said.
The organisation also said that the Newsclick has always upheld the highest standards of journalistic integrity. "Its commendable journalistic work seeking to hold power accountable speaks for itself," it added.
Several journalists also took to Twitter calling the raids "an attempt to harass the news organisation for being critical of the government."
"Truth shall prevail. We have full faith in the legal system," read a statement by Newsclick, adding that the raids are still underway.
"Various organisations and individuals have condemned the raids on Newsclick, a website known for giving voice to vulnerable sections, protests and movements that do not find space in the mainstream media," the statement added.
Also Read: Jailed Labour Activist Nodeep Kaur Sexually Assaulted By Haryana Police In Custody, Alleges Family, To Move HC