NewsClick row: Delhi Police question Gautam Navlakha in Mumbai

Navlakha, who was previously under house arrest in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was granted bail on December 19.

New Delhi: A team of Delhi Police on Saturday questioned activist Gautam Navlakha in Mumbai in connection with their ongoing investigation into the allegations that media outlet NewsClick received money to spread pro-China propaganda.

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Navlakha, who was previously under house arrest in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was granted bail on December 19.

The questioning took place at Navlakha’s residence in Navi Mumbai’s Agroli area, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)-level officer.

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The Special Cell had registered an FIR against NewsClick in connection with the case on August 17 under different sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In August, a ‘New York Times’ investigation had accused NewsClick of taking funding from a network linked to US millionaire Neville Roy Singham to promote Chinese propaganda.

Recently, NewsClick’s human resources head Amit Chakravarty had moved a Delhi court seeking its permission to turn approver in the case.

Chakravarty and NewsClick’s founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha were arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell on October 3 following raids at about 30 locations across Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Mumbai and Ghaziabad.

Chakravarty filed an application before Special Judge Hardeep Kaur, seeking pardon in the ongoing case. He claimed to possess material information that he is willing to share with the Delhi Police.

Kaur has scheduled the matter to be presented before a magisterial court for the recording of Chakravarty’s statement.

Police sources have indicated that a decision will be made regarding supporting his application after thoroughly reviewing the information he provides in his statement.

The court on December 22 had granted 60 days to Delhi Police to complete the investigation.

Both Purkayastha and Chakravarty are under judicial custody till January 20 when the matter will be heard next.

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