Cop Visits The Wire's Office, DCP Claims it to be a "Routine Check for August 15"
By: Sashwata Saha
A uniformed policeman visited the offices of the digital news portal The Wire’s Delhi office on Friday, editor Siddharth Varadarajan tweeted. The post also included a shot of the cop sitting at an employee’s desk and looking over sheaves of paper as another employee looked over his shoulder.
The visit comes just a couple of days after The Wire, along with a consortium of 15 other global publications, including The Washington Post, Le Monde and The Guardian; Paris based journalist collective Forbidden Stories; and human rights group Amnesty International, revealed a list of people believed to be targeted by the Israeli developed Pegasus spyware.
The district DCP Deepak Yadav has also confirmed another visit to The Indian Express claiming, “In the run up to Independence Day, security and anti-terrorist measures such as tenant verification, checking of guest houses, etc are being taken throughout Delhi. Local beat officer had gone to verify an office which didn’t bear any signboard at the entrance.”
Ahead of Independence Day celebrations, security has been amped up in the national capital. Multi-layered arrangements such as the collusion of the city police with the army and agencies like NSG, SPG and ITBP, as well as strict vigil at the borders, especially in the areas where the farmers are protesting. Over 45,000 security personnel will be guarding the city on Independence Day, besides over 2,000 snipers deputed at specific locations on high-rises around the 5 km periphery of the Red Fort.
Speaking to Chennai based site The News Minute, Vardarajan said that the incident happened in the afternoon when he was not in the office and got to know about it from his colleagues. “The whole exchange lasted 5-10 minutes,” he said. “The policeman was asking very odd questions. He even asked that we give it in writing that Vinod Dua, Arfa Khanum and Swara Bhasker don’t work for The Wire. My colleague refused. What does all this have to do with routine verification?”
TV and web journalist Vinod Dua was booked under sedition, among other charges, last year for airing allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Modi. The Supreme Court, last month, quashed the case against him, noting that the section should not be invoked for criticising the government. Actor Swara Bhasker is also known for being vocal about several issues and being critical of the BJP-led Union government.
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