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NewsClick HR head seeks pardon: Offers to spill beans in controversial UAPA Case

NewsClick HR head seeks pardon: Offers to spill beans in controversial UAPA Case

New Delhi: The head of human resources at NewsClick, Amit Chakraborty, has sought to become an approver in the case against the news website under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Chakraborty, who reportedly approached Delhi's Patiala House court last week, is willing to disclose crucial information to the Delhi Police in exchange for a pardon.

The police have accused NewsClick of receiving funds from China in a manner described as "circuitous and camouflaged," with the alleged intention of disrupting India's sovereignty. The case gained momentum when, on December 22, a Delhi court granted the police's special cell an additional 60 days to complete its investigation against the news portal.

The controversy began with a report by The New York Times on August 5, alleging that NewsClick had received money from American businessman Neville Roy Singham, described as an active member of the propaganda department of the Communist Party of China.

In response, NewsClick labelled the allegations as absurd, claiming that the proceedings were an attempt to stifle the free press.

Meanwhile, Singham countered The New York Times, accusing the publication of intentionally neglecting to publish his responses and doing a disservice to the cause of press freedom. Singham termed the article a "misleading and innuendo-laden hit piece" on him.

Adding to NewsClick's woes, on December 19, the Income Tax Department reportedly "virtually froze" the news portal's bank accounts, hindering its ability to pay salaries to its staff.

NewsClick characterized this action as part of an ongoing "administrative-legal siege," citing previous raids by the Enforcement Directorate in February 2021, an Income Tax Department survey in September 2021, and the October 3 crackdown by the Delhi Police Special Cell.

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