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Newsclick Row: Court sends founder, HR head to police custody till Nov 2

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday sent NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha and human resources department head Amit Chakravarty to police custody till November 2 in a case lodged under the anti-terror law UAPA over allegations that the news portal received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

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The accused were produced in the court on the expiry of their 15-day judicial custody granted by it earlier.

The police had requested the court on October 10 to send the accused persons to jail and had submitted that the agency could ask for their further custodial interrogation later.

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The police on Wednesday told the judge that it wanted to confront the accused with some protected witnesses and also some devices which were examined and the data that has been extracted.

Advocate Arshdeep Singh Khurana, appearing for Purkayastha, opposed the police remand plea claiming that there was no new ground in the application.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Purkayastha and Chakravarty on October 3.

According to the FIR, a large amount of funds to the news portal came from China to “disrupt the sovereignty of India” and cause disaffection against the country.

It also alleged Purkayastha conspired with a group — People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) — to sabotage the electoral process during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Raids were conducted at 88 locations in Delhi and seven in other states on October 3 on the suspects named in the FIR and those that surfaced in the analysis of data, police said.

Around 300 electronic gadgets were also seized from the offices of NewsClick and residences of the journalists who were examined.

Following the raids, 46 individuals, including nine female journalists, were questioned by the Special Cell in Delhi and NCR.

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