Statement | 03 October 2023
The widespread police raid against editors, journalists and staff of independent media portal NewsClick on October 3 is an open reflection of the unbridled emergency the country is facing. The Modi-BJP regime is hell bent on suppressing every voice that disagrees with it, expresses dissent and speaks truth to power.
As per reports, the early morning raid under the draconian UAPA were carried out by Delhi Police Special cell at the residences of several senior journalists associated with NewsClick, including Bhasha Singh, Abhisar Sharma, senior journalist Urmilesh, editor Prabir Purkayastha, writer Gita Hariharan, political commentator Aunindyo Chakravarty, historian Sohail Hashmi and satirist Sanjay Rajoura among others. Houses of activist Teesta Setalvad and journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta were also raided.
The raid comes just a few weeks after Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule’s veiled threat of violence against journalists who write ‘negative news against BJP.’
The Modi government has been using the UAPA to imprison and suppress pro-people and democratic voices in the country, including civil rights activists, lawyers, writers and journalists to intimidate and harass them. These raids have come after the government and the BJP MPs' dogwhistling against NewsClick in the Parliament.
Independent media platforms like NewsClick have been in forefront in covering the people’s movement and struggles, including historic farmers Movement, Shaheen Bagh movement and working class strikes, at a time when godi media was singing the tune of the corporates and government. With the rising discontent against the BJP regime across the country, such raids on media organizations is an attempt to stifle the truth and people’s voices.
Such a widespread attack on journalists and media organisations is unparalleled in the history of our country. Modi-BJP establishment is replicating the Colonial-era tactics of intimidating and threatening the media and democratic voices under draconian anti-terror laws.
Today, the regime is leaving no stone unturned to destroy the free and independent press, a bedrock of democracy. With the full backing of the regime’s loyal corporate cronies who also control much of mainstream media, the television channels in particular, the Modi government and the RSS have managed to transform the very nature of the media, reducing it to what has come to be popularly known as ‘godi media’ or lapdog/embedded media. Today, hatemongers and fake-news peddlers, masquerading as journalists are given free hand and patronage by Modi regime, meanwhile journalists who actually do their job are facing systematic persecution and even assassination.
CPIML stands in complete solidarity with the NewsClick journalists and staff. The ongoing raids along with country’s sharp decline in freedom of press must ring an alarm bell for every democracy-loving citizen of this country. This march of fascism of Modi-BJP regime needs to stop.
-Issued by Central Committee of CPI(ML) Liberation