Statement on sedition charge on R Gopal, Editor, Nakkheeran Tamil magazine
The Foundation for Media Professionals notes with great alarm the increasing abuse of power by the Tamil Nadu police, the State government and now by the Governor's office in the State.
R Gopal, Editor of Tamil magazine Nakkheeran has been charged under Section 124 of the IPC and arrested today in Chennai. We are informed that the arrest is based on a complaint filed by the Governor's office against the Editor and other journalists of the magazine.
He has subsequently been released after the Egmore Court refused to remand him under Section 124 of the IPC - "Assaulting President, Governor, etc., with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power."
The Governor's office appears to have been offended by an article published in the magazine on 26 September 2018 which provides a narrative on the alleged meetings between a professor Nirmala Devi and the Governor of Tamil Nadu. This article was published in the wake of a controversy over a sex-for-cash and sex-for-marks scandal that the lady professor is embroiled in and is also now in jail for.
The filing of sedition charges is a clear overreach of the power of the police and the Governor's office. The State government has been a mute spectator to this undemocratic act as well.
The Foundation for Media Professionals demands the immediate withdrawal of all charges against R Gopal and other journalists of Nakkheeran magazine. We also demand that the State government and the Governor intervene immediately in the issue to stop such blatant attacks on the freedom of press and media in the State and to curb police excesses on journalists who are doing their duty.
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, President
Sandhya Ravishankar, Tamil Nadu Convenor