A mega faceoff has erupted in Chennai over the arrest a top journalist. Chief Editor of Tamil bi-weekly ‘Nakkeeran’, Nakkeeran Gopal has been arrested after an anti-Governor article was published in his magazine. The journalist was picked up by Chennai police at the airport around 8.15 am over a complaint filed by Governor Banwarilal Purohit's office over his publication's reportage on the Nirmala Devi case. Nakkeeran Gopal was reportedly traveling to Pune to attend an event.
Journalists and supporters are now protesting outside the police station against the arrest. MDMK’s Vaiko also joined the protest and has been detained. DMK has also condemned the arrest of journalist Nakkeeran and has accused AIADMK and ‘fascist BJP government of threatening freedom of media.
In a statement DMK President MK Stalin said, “I strongly condemn the AIADMK govt over arrest of senior Journalist Nakkeeran Gopal. It remains a mystery as to why the state govt is acting in such a manner in Normal Devi issue. Nakkeeran Gopal arrest is shocking. The police are yet to arrest H Raja. He has been invited to meet the governor. Arrest of Gopal confirms that BJP govt is ruling the state through AIADMK. Arrest of Gopal tramples freedom of press.”
Vaiko said that the arrest of the journalist shows 'threatening attitude of the authorities'.
"This arrest shows the threatening attitude of authorities towards independent journalists. Is there Governor's rule in the state? I blame the state government," said Vaiko.
On the other hand, TTV Dhinakaran has welcomed the arrest of Nakkeeran Gopal. Dhinakaran has said that it’s wrong to publish a news article against an individual without proper evidence.
Reportedly, the magazine run by Gopal featured pictures of Purohit and Nirmala Devi, an accused in the Madurai Kamaraj University sex scandal. The Nakkheeran story was published last month, and criticised the Governor's alleged involvement.
Nirmala Devi was arrested earlier this year for allegedly asking her students to extend sexual favours to university officials in exchange of rewards (financial and academic).
The arrest was made on the basis of an audio clip of Nirmala Devi's conversation with her students, wherein she said that she was close to Governor Purohit, however, the Governor refuted her claims.
(With ANI Inputs)