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Tamil news channel attacked; Rathore condemns attack

MUMBAI: The Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has condemned the attack on the Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai.

Rathore tweeted, “Attack on a Tamil TV channel is condemnable. There are self-regulatory bodies to resolve complaints on TV content. Law will prevail.”

He further added that “disagreement on TV content could be addressed to: For News, nbanewdelhi.com, For ent’ment, ibfindia.com; for adv.:@ascionline.”

Suspected members of the right-wing outfit Hindu Illaignar Sena threw crude bombs at the local office of the news channel over a proposed interactive show on ‘Thaali’ (Mangal Sutra), drawing widespread criticism from media bodies and political parties, which termed it as an attack on the freedom of expression.

As per reports, four motorcycle-borne men hurled two crude bombs packed in tiffin boxes, but no one was injured in the attack caught on CCTV cameras from the channel’s office, police said.

Guindy police have arrested all four of the suspects belonging to Illaignar Sena, functioning from Koyambedu in Chennai. Police have also seized two motorcycles, which were used by the suspects to hurl bombs at the office.

Meanwhile, Jeyam Pandian, organiser of the Hindu Youth Sena organisation, surrendered before a judicial magistrate court in Madurai in connection with the attack. He has been remanded in judicial custody till 19 March.

In a statement, Pandian took objection to the channel’s programme. “Under the banner of freedom of expression, the channel should not resort to nonsensical and sacrilegious discussions,” he said.

However, the channel management had not aired it on 8 March as planned, following a protest by the Hindu Munnani during which a video journalist was allegedly assaulted and his equipment damaged.