‘NewsClick Promoted Agenda to Show Kashmir, Arunachal Are Not Part of India’: What Delhi Police Told Court

Delhi police’s special cell has alleged that it got secret inputs, which revealed that NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, the American millionaire accused of spreading Chinese propaganda Neville Roy Singham, and some other Chinese employees of Singham-owned Shanghai-based company Starstream have exchanged emails, which expose their intent to show that Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are not part of India.

The anti-terror unit of Delhi police has also alleged while seeking remand that the accused persons have conspired to disrupt supplies and services essential to the life of communities in India and abet damage and destruction of property by protraction of the farmers’ protest through such illegal foreign funding.

“A false narrative has been propagated to discredit the efforts of Indian Govt. to contain Covid-19 Pandemic. It was learnt that Prabir Purkayastha conspired with a group namely People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) to sabotage the electoral process during 2019 General Elections,” the remand copy of special cell says.

Story of secret inputs

According to the remand copy of Delhi police, cops received secret inputs that foreign funds in crores were infused illegally in India by Indian and foreign entities inimical to India in pursuance of a conspiracy with the intention to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, to cause disaffection against India, and to threaten the unity, integrity, and security of India. “Since April, 2018, such fraudulent funds in crores of rupees have been received by M/S PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd through illegal means during a short span of five years from M/s Worldwide Media Holdings LLC, USA and others. That Mr. Prabir Purkayastha, Mr. Amit Sengupta, Mr. Doraiswami Raghunandan, Mr. Bappaditya Sinha, Mr. Gautam Navlakha, Mrs. Geeta Hariharan, Mr. Amit Chakravarty and M/S Worldwide Media Holding LLC are shareholders of “PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt. Ltd.” having its registered office at New Delhi,” Delhi police said.

Delhi police alleged that Tricontinental India Pvt. Ltd and GSPAN India Pvt Ltd were incorporated by The Tricontinental Ltd, USA, and GSPAN LLC USA, respectively, to infuse funds in India by circumventing the existing rules for receipt of foreign funds by NGOs. “Further, it is learnt that Gautam Navlakha who is a shareholder in PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd since its inception in the year 2018, remained involved in anti-Indian and unlawful activities such as actively supporting banned Naxal organisations and having anti-national nexus with Gulam Nabi Fai who is an agent of ISI of Pakistan. It was also learnt that Gautam Navlakha is associated with Prabir Purkayastha since 1991 when they incorporated Sagrik Process Analyst Pvt Ltd,” the special cell remand copy says.

What investigation says

According to the Delhi police, during the course of the investigation, on October 3 a raid was conducted at 88 locations in Delhi, and 7 locations in other states on the suspects named in the FIR and surfaced in the analysis of data. “During raid huge number of electronics devices and documents were seized. A number of suspects including the above mentioned accused persons namely Pratik Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty. After interrogation and finding the grounds of arrest, accused Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty were arrested in the present case on 03.10.2023. Both the accused persons were kept on sustained interrogation which revealed their involvement in the case,” Delhi police said.

Why cops interrogated journalists

Delhi police has claimed that such illegally routed foreign funds have been syphoned off by Prabir Purkayastha and his associates Joseph Raj, Anoop Chakraborty (brother of Amit Chakraborty), and Bappaditya Sinha (promoter of Virtunet Systems Pvt Ltd.). “It is also learnt that aforementioned funds were distributed to Gautam Navlakha, associates of Teesta Setalvad namely Javed Anand, Tamara, Jibran, Urmilesh, Aratrika Halder, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Trina Shankar, Abhisar Sharma, etc,” Delhi police alleged.

Why push for police remand

According to the police, it wanted a remand to unearth the whole conspiracy hatched by the arrested accused persons and their associates in India and abroad, as well as to confront both the accused persons with the data recovered from the digital devices and which is yet to be recovered from their electronic gadgets. It also said that the searches at the PPK Newsclick office are yet to be completed which required the custodial interrogation of the accused persons.

Cops also claimed that the mails recovered from the email dump of both accused is about 4.73 lakhs, and the accused need to be confronted and interrogated regarding the contents of the emails and to unearth the conspiracy. Delhi police has also given details about the ED investigation.

“During course of investigation it has also come in knowledge that ED has also registered a case Vide number F.No.: ECIR/14/HIU/2020, dated 14.08.23, against PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt ltd. and during the investigation they have seized electronic gadgets pertaining to the company and the suspects named in the present FIR,” the Delhi police remand copy said. “The data extracted by them was received from their office in the five hard discs and the same was analysed. The data contain total 4.27 lacs emails in emails dumps of Prabir Purkayastha and Amit Chakraborty and other suspects. It also contains huge number of documents pertaining to the alleged company and alleged suspects.”

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