On the 9th of February the residence of the directors, editors as well as office of Indian news portal NewsClick were raided by the Enforcement Directorate for their extensive coverage of the ongoing farmer’s protests. The raid comes in as another attack on the publication as last month investigative journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta working for NewsClick was served with an arrest warrant relating to two of his articles from 2017 which had criticised Narendra Modi.
Although NewsClick has not been the only victim of the Enforcement Directorate. In recent weeks several senior journalists such as Mandeep Puniya of The Caravan have had sedition charges and arrest warrants filed against them for criticism of the government and coverage of violence and torture of arrested protestors. Major attempts have also occurred at curbing free speech on Twitter and Youtube. It should be noted that this suppression seems to be carried out on behest of the Adani Group, one of the major would-be benefactors of the newly proposed agricultural laws. A clear relationship exists between the state and its capitalist benefactors.
The raid on NewsClick has been condemned by Digipub, an organisation which represents 11 news websites, the Delhi Union of Journalists, Dr. Ashok Dhawle, the president of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the major farmer’s unions involved in the protests as well as several other independent and progressive media organisations from India, Brazil, Ghana, Argentina, the U.S. and South Africa.
Forward as well as the International Office of the Connolly Youth Movement joins these organisations in their condemnation to what is a clear attack on the freedom of the press and on the will of the Indian people by the fascistic BJP-led Government. We should not forget that what has occurred in India could occur at anytime in Ireland and we have to stand in solidarity with their struggle.