Police in Tamil Nadu arrested a top Tamil journalist on Tuesday for writing a ‘defamatory’ article on Governor Banwarilal Purohit in the infamous Nirmala Devi sex scandal. According to police, Nakkheeran Gopal, the editor of popular Tamil weekly Nakkheeran, was arrested on the complaint filed by the Raj Bhavan, which deemed the article defamatory.
Gopal was picked up by the police as he arrived at the airport to travel to Pune.
Purohit’s name had featured in the leaked audio, where a woman professor, Nirmala Devi, was heard luring female students to extend sexual favours in exchange of financial and academic rewards.
— Manoj Prabakar S (@imanojprabakar) October 9, 2018
Purohit had denied knowing the woman professor, who was later arrested for luring her students to have sex in return of money. Nirmala Devi of Devanga Arts College had allegedly promised to reward her students financially and academically if they agreed to extend sexual favours. The 46-year-old professor had said that she was doing so on behalf of officials of the Madurai Kamaraj University. She had also claimed to know the governor, who is the chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.
The audio of Devi luring her students, while also making references to Purohit, had gone viral on social media.
In his article, Gopal claimed that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit was not probed in the case. Journalists on social media were quick to condemn the Chennai Police for its action against the Gopal.
Journalist Shabbir Ahmed asked, “If the @nakkheeranweb article was defamatory…the Governor should have filed a defamation case. Instead, getting an editor arrested under charges of sedition is nothing but misuse of law.” Journalist Devapriyan wrote, “Once again Nirmaladevi case in Headline…”