Delhi Police Question Journalists, Activists, and Satirists Over UAPA Case; Concerns Grow Over Press Freedom in India
New Delhi: The Delhi Police have begun questioning people “related to terror links” in a case under the harsh Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the early morning raids on the houses of many journalists, stand-up comedians, satirists, and pundits. The raids are related to FIR number 224/2023, according to information obtained by One World News.
Journalists and Activists Raided
The draconian UAPA, Indian Penal Code, Sections 153(a) (promote enmity between different groups based on religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and Section 120(b) (party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence) are all invoked in this case, which was filed on August 17, 2023.
Nothing has been declared formally, therefore video journalist Abhisar Sharma, senior journalist Bhasha Singh, veteran journalist Urmilesh, Newsclick editor Prabir Purkayastha, writer Githa Hariharan, renowned journalist and commentator on the political economy Aunindyo Chakravarty, activist and historian Sohail Hashmi, and satirist and stand-up comedian Sanjay Rajaura were among the news people who were “raided” early this morning.
Delhi Police Conducts Early Morning Raids at Houses of Journalists, Satirists.
Several spoke of their electronic devices–laptops& telephones–being taken away by the police.
Modi Govt’s attempt to silence Media&civil society. Totally illegal.…
— noname_nocaste (@NoName_NoCaste_) October 3, 2023
Activists and Journalist Raids
The homes of activist Teesta Setalvad and seasoned journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta reportedly also came under raid. Setalvad, a resident of Mumbai, is reportedly being questioned by Delhi police. The Delhi police were interrogating the subject as this article was being written. D. Raghunandan, a scientist and author connected to the Delhi Science Forum, has reportedly been “taken away by the police,” according to sources.
Others have reported that the cops took their phones, computers, and other electronics. Before her phone was taken, journalist Bhasha Singh tweeted what would be its final message. According to sources, Rajaura has been transported by the police to the Special Cell, located on Lodhi Road. Police claimed that they were questioning him rather than detaining him.
FIR Linked to NYT Article
The police have stated that they are simply interviewing Rajaura and not immediately detaining him. According to rumours, the current FIR was inspired by a New York Times article from August. In the Lok Sabha, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey highlighted the study to make the allegation that NewsClick and Congress leaders had received funding from China to foster an “anti-India” environment.
Concerned about the raids, the Press Club of India announced that it would be issuing a thorough statement. India is now ranked 20th out of 180 nations in the World Press Freedom Index, having fallen significantly and by a large number of rankings. In terms of press freedom, it is also among the G20 nations with the lowest rankings. Democratic reversal has been.
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