October 9, 2018
Chennai : In a big embarrassment to the Tamil Nadu government and Governor, Egmore Magistrate’s Court threw out the police plea for custody of Nakkeeran Magazine editor Gopal and freed him from police custody when he was produced before the court.
Gopal was arrested on Tuesday morning from Chennai airport when he was about to leave for Pune. The court decision is a slap in the face of the government and the governor, on whose complaint the editor was arrested.
According to sources, Gopal was arrested for a series of write ups on a sex scandal that broke out in a university and had alleged links between the governor Nakkeeran Gopal, veteran journalist and editor of Tamil bi-weekly, was arrested from Chennai airport on Tuesday following a complaint from state governor Banwarilal Purohit against the journalist for his write up linking governor’s office to an alleged scandal in a university.
Reports of Nakkeeran had cited visits of a professor, Nirmala Devi, to Raj Bhavan. She is an assistant professor of Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district. She was arrested in April when her voice in an audio clip asking girls to submit for sexual favours to officials for money and marks.
Governor Purohit had firmly denied all accusations at a press conference in Chennai soon after. He asserted that he had never seen the face of the lady in question and rubbished demands for his resignation from the opposition.
“I do not know the lady, I have never met the lady. I am surrounded by so many people always and it is not possible for anyone to meet me without my permission,” Purohit told the media in the third week of April.
His arrest early in the morning sparked off a huge political furore with the opposition DMK condemning the incident as an example of fascist tendencies of the BJP led central government and the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu.
“Arrest of Editor Nakkeeran Gopal for publishing a series of reports on the university scandal is a brazen threat from the fascist BJP government and a puppet AIADMK govt in the state.”
Rajya Sabha MP Kanomizhi said it was sad that a newspaper owner had filed a case against a journalist and demanded the immediate release of the arrested editor.
Protests broke out across Chennai with scores of journalists congregating at the Egmore court.
“An unprecedented fascist action against an editor. A historic verdict by the lowermost court in India,” was how one political analyst described the court ruling throwing out the police case against the editor of Nakkeeran.