New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed a prosecution complaint (equivalent to a chargesheet) against journalist Rana Ayyub in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities and laundering of funds collected by her for relief work.
ED, in a statement, said the prosecution complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was filed before a special court in Ghaziabad on Wednesday.
The ED said it had initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered on September 7, 2021 by the Indirapuram police station, Ghaziabad, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Information Technology (Amendment) Act and Black Money Act against Ayyub, alleging that she illegally acquired funds from general public in the name of charity by launching fundraiser campaigns on an online crowdfunding platform Ketto.
The ED said it was alleged that Ayyub, a journalist by profession, had received foreign contributions without registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
Meanwhile, sharing a statement on her Twitter handle, the journalist termed the move “another desperate attempt to target and intimidate me”.
“My pen can never be silenced. Ironic that I conducted a seminar yesterday, here in the US, on the attack on the free press in India. I will continue to raise my voice against the persecution of the marginalised in the country,” she said.
“The funds raised by me for Covid support were raised and used with the sole aim of helping people in dire need, and I am happy that many families ravaged by Covid received support,” she said.
Stating she was “confident that this abuse of the process by the ED will not withstand judicial scrutiny”, Ayyub called it “another example of the abuse of PMLA law and misuse of law enforcement agencies to silence me”.