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NewsClick rejects absurd, baseless allegations in Delhi Police chargesheet

Originally published: NewsClicks.in on May 1, 2024 by NewsClick.in Staff (more by NewsClicks.in)  | (Posted May 06, 2024)

Several reports have appeared in the media reproducing allegations from the Delhi Police’s chargesheet against NewsClick and its Editor-in-Chief Prabir Purkayastha. Many of these reports have been published without seeking a response from NewsClick.

We have consistently maintained that we do not seek a media trial; that we do not want to discuss matters that are sub judice; and that we have full faith in the judicial process. However, given the gravity, and too often, the sheer absurdity, of the allegations, we would like to state the following.

  1.  The allegations against NewsClick and Prabir Purkyastha are completely baseless. NewsClick and Prabir have not been involved in any terrorist act. Nor is there any evidence for the same. Prabir does not have links to any terrorist group.
  2.  The timing of these reports makes it clear that they aim to prejudice public opinion and pending judicial proceedings. Only yesterday (April 30, 2024), cognizance of the ‘offenses’ was taken, and this is selective leaking of the chargesheet filed by the Special Cell of the Delhi police. The chargesheet is nothing but a set of opinions of the investigating officer parading as ‘allegations’. These allegations will be firmly contested by NewsClick and Prabir.
  3.  Prabir’s long-term association with the Communist Party of India (Marxist)–he has been a member for over 50 years–means he would never support, financially or otherwise, either ‘Maoists,’ Lashkar-e-Taiba or any other group or individual with any violent and/ or illegal plans. His political involvement and views are very much in the public realm.
  4.  Like many media organizations, NewsClick covered major developments in the country, including the farmers’ protests and the anti-CAA-NRC protests. The work of our journalists is in the public domain. Neither NewsClick nor Prabir supplied cash for distribution to protestors. And neither did they ‘stoke’ any riots.
  5.  NewsClick has followed all the relevant rules with regard to maps in its news bulletins and articles. All this work is in the public domain.
  6.  Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NewsClick published discussions with and comments by a range of experts. The common thread in all this was the importance of affordable and safe universal vaccination, and a scientific approach to the management of the pandemic. Prabir has been, over several decades, part of science and technology groups that have advocated self-reliance—strengthening indigenous manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector. He has also argued against intellectual property barriers that make vaccines inaccessible to the poor. Again, all of this work is publicly available on NewsClick in the form of articles and videos.
  7.  NewsClick reiterates, once again, that the investigations by the Delhi Police and other agencies are attempts to target our independent journalism. NewsClick’s coverage of protests and critiques of the government’s policies is being portrayed as anti-India. All the allegations levelled against us are concocted and baseless. These allegations are based on the statements of ‘protected witnesses’ which have to be proved in Court. There is no corroborative material to support these statements, which will be contested by NewsClick in the courts in due course. We are confident that Prabir, NewsClick, and the work of all its journalists will be vindicated.

NewsClick Editorial Team

Monthly Review does not necessarily adhere to all of the views conveyed in articles republished at MR Online. Our goal is to share a variety of left perspectives that we think our readers will find interesting or useful. —Eds.