Even as Islamist propagandist Rana Ayub — who skipped summons of the Enforcement Directorate — was stopped midway by sleuths before embarking on a foreign trip, Home Ministry sources reveal that two pro-Islamist online portals receiving money through dubious sources using crowdfunding are under the scanner of investigating agencies.
The Home Ministry has directed the Information and Broadcasting ministry to look into the allegations of dubious funding against two portals — Newslaundry and The News Minute. Both these portals are engaged in publishing news stories supporting Popular Front activist Siddique Kappan, a UAPA accused jailed in Lucknow. Initial investigations suggest that both these portals were receiving huge amount as contributions from interested parties having links with some anti-national organizations.
The stories published in the two propaganda sites led to Islamists hounding witnesses in the Kappan case who had given statements to the Special Task Force (STF) of UP Police as part of the investigation. The UP government is learnt to have taken serious note of this. Some witnesses received threat mails from Islamists after the fabricated reports.
Newslaundry reporter Akanksha Kumar had published a nine-part series that was far removed from facts with an intention to influence the judiciary. The portal was getting regular contributions from dubious sources, it is alleged. Through these reports, Akanksha Kumar was trying to defame STF, ignoring the body of evidence presented in the charge sheet filed in the courts.
The News Minute portal, co-owned by one Dhanya Rajendran, copied the stories published in Newslaundry and interviewed Raihana, the wife of Siddique Kappan, supporting the Newslaundry stories. The News Minute is also engaged in collecting huge amounts through the crowdfunding method.
UP Police, in their counter affidavit filed at the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court against the bail application of Siddique Kappan, argues that Kappan’s wife, along with some others, are engaged in threatening witnesses through social media.
Credit: Indus Scrolls