ED to question CPI(M) leaders in connection with NewsClick Chinese funding

ED to question CPI(M) leaders in connection with NewsClick Chinese funding


In the latest development in the NewsClick Chinese funding case, the Enforcement Directorate has attached a South Delhi flat worth Rs 4.5 crore belonging to Prabir Purkayastha, the editor-in-chief and promoter of the propaganda portal NewsClick. The ED has also attached Prabir Purkayastha’s fixed deposits worth Rs 41 lakh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, in addition to the flat. 

According to reports, the probe agency plans to question several Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders, including a senior leader, about emails exchanged with Shanghai-based American tech entrepreneur Neville Roy Singham, who according to The New York Times report is associated with “China’s media machine” and funding its propaganda globally. 

In the purported email exchanges dated 1 January 2021, Singham lavishes praises on China for allegedly regulating internet monopolies, de-coupling fintech firms, and openly affirming that Capital cannot challenge socialism and they cannot be allowed political space to subvert society. Singham also pushes for greater cooperation with Prakash Karat in order to provide better coverage of communism-related events in nations including India, Brazil, and South Africa for a larger Chinese audience.

According to the ED probe, Bappaditya Sinha of the CPM’s IT cell and Gautam Navlakha, an urban naxal accused in the Bhima Koregaon case are shareholders of NewsClick. Other people who owned shares in the portal included the US-based Worldwide Media Holding LLC, which was 100% owned by a corporation managed by Singham’s activist wife Jodie Evans. In its investigation, the New York Times noted Evan’s involvement in influencing public opinion on China.

The email exchanges dated March 30, 2020, on China’s handling of COVID-19 between Prabir and Singham were shared by Zee News journalist Sudhir Chaudhary, days after New York Times investigation said that Singham was using its network of nonprofits and media organisations spread across the world to propagate Chinese propaganda. As reported earlier, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat also had close ties with ThoughtWorks founder Neville Roy Singham, a purported email correspondence between the two revealed. 


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