Chennai: Veteran Tamil journalist and the editor of Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran, Nakkeeran Gopal was arrested by the Chennai City Police on Tuesday morning. The action reportedly followed a complaint from Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s office, said media reports. (Also read: Final Chargesheet Filed in College Sex Scandal Case)
According to The Indian Express, Gopal was taken into custody at 8.15 AM from the Chennai airport when he was headed for Pune to attend an event there. “He was arrested by a deputy commissioner rank official from Adyar. We will reveal other details later,” a senior officer told the daily.
Police also said that sedition charges had been pressed against the senior journalist. Raj Bhawan was reportedly miffed at Nakkeeran for publishing reports linking Governor Purohit with a recent university sex scandal. The reports also reportedly mentioned multiple visits of the main accused, Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Devanga Arts College, to Raj Bhavan.
Soon after Nakkeeran’s arrest, MDMK chief Vaiko went to see him at the Chintadripet police station where Nakkeeran had been detained. “I sought permission to meet him but police are not allowing me. This arrest shows the threatening attitude of the authorities towards independent journalists. Is there Governor’s rule in the state? I blame the state government,” said Vaiko later.
Devi was arrested in April this year after an audio clip of her purported conversation with women students went viral in which she was asking them to adjust with some officials by giving them sexual favours to get marks and money. After the alleged role of Governor and some top officials in his office emerged in the controversy, the Opposition in Tamil Nadu demanded the resignation of Governor Purohit, forcing him to deny charges against him.
He also claimed that he had never seen Nirmala Devi. “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 had told the media back then.
Meanwhile, Devi faces human trafficking charges, police said. A probe revealed that Devi conspired with two other men, Murugan and Karuppusamy, who are also accused in the case, to deceive and seduce girl students for sexual exploitation, the CB-CID police told the court. Devi had ‘illegal intimacy’ with both the accused and had promised to please them by ‘providing’ her own college students for sexual favours.