Digital news organisation Newsclick, on February 12, condemned the ongoing raids at its office in Delhi and called it an attempt to tarnish the image of the portal and discredit its journalism.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 9, conducted raids at the office of Newsclick 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.
"As of Friday afternoon, ED raids have been going on at the house of Newsclick's Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha for close to 80 hours," the website's statement, titled Selective Media Leaks an Attempt to Malign Newsclick, read.
"Prabir Purkayastha and author Githa Hariharan have been detained in their house since the beginning of the raid," it read.
"It also constitutes a violation of the sanctity of the legal and investigative process," the portal's statement read.
The news portal said that its office was raided first for over 36 hours and some equipment important to the functioning of the news organisation was seized.
"Communication devices of directors and senior management have also been seized, which has, therefore, limited their ability to return to work or indeed, respond to queries of the media," the statement said. "Despite this harassment, Newsclick has cooperated fully with the authorities and will continue to do so. We have nothing to hide, as we have operated completely in accordance with the law."
The news website said that the raids were a part of a pattern of "deploying government agencies against those who refuse to toe the establishment's line". "We are deeply thankful for all the solidarity that we have received, and would like to convey to our well-wishers that we will resist all attempts at intimidation and continue our independent journalism," the portal said.
The portal also said that it had become routine for the government to "deploy government-controlled agencies to deal with all those who disagree with and criticise the government".
The Editors Guild of India, The Press Club of India and The Communist Party of India (Marxist) have condemned the action against the news portal.