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IT raids at Newslaundry & NewsClick attack on press freedom: EGI

GUWAHATI: The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has expressed their “disturbed” state of mind by the raids by Income Tax “surveys” conducted at the offices of news websites NewsClick and Newslaundry yesterday and called it a ” clear intimidatory and blatant attack on their rights, and therefore press freedom.”

“It is learnt that the IT team made clones of Sekhri’s mobile and laptop, as well as some other office machines, and no hash value was given to them,” read a part of the EGI statement.

“This is clearly beyond the mandate of surveys defined under section 133A of the Income Tax Act, which only allows data pertaining to the investigation to be copied, and certainly not personal and professional data of journalists,” the statement said.

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The Guild also expressed their concern over such indiscriminate seizure of journalists’ data which may have sensitive information including details of sources.

The Guild also said that both Newslaundry and NewsClick are critical of the Union Government’s policies. Enforcement Directorate had conducted raids at NewsClick offices and homes of their senior scribes in February.

The Guild also called these raids by government agencies against independent media as “dangerous” in a democracy.

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