Gopal arrested, freed.

Gopal arrested, freed.

Nakkheeran editor Gopal arrested for defamation; court says no jail

Arrested on a complaint from Raj Bhavan; political leaders protest arrest

Agency Report | Chennai | 9 October, 2018 | 09:00 PM

The editor of popular Tamil weekly 'Nakkheeran', who was arrested on Tuesday morning on charges of defamation for allegations against Governor Banwarilal Purohit in an article, will not go to jail. A court in Chennai has dismissed the police's request for the custody of journalist Nakkheeran Gopal. The police had charged the journalist under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code which refers to an assault on President or Governor to restrain them from exercising their lawful power.

Senior journalist and Tamil weekly “Nakkheeran” Editor R.R. Gopal was arrested from the Chennai airport, triggering widespread condemnation from leaders of political parties. The police said “Nakkheeran Gopal” — as he is widely known — was arrested on a complaint from Raj Bhavan for allegedly publishing articles defamatory of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

The articles linked the office of the Governor to Nirmala Devi, an Assistant Professor who was arrested sometime back for allegedly luring college girls to provide sexual favours to officials of Madurai Kamaraj University.

The arrest drew condemnation from opposition parties in Tamil Nadu.

MDMK leader Vaiko was arrested as he held a protest outside the Chintadripet police station here after the police refused permission to meet Gopal.

Vaiko demanded to know why BJP leader H. Raja was not arrested for his derogatory remarks about the judiciary and police.

The MDMK leader said Gopal’s arrest was an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party to suppress media freedom.

DMK President M.K. Stalin accused the Modi government and the Tamil Nadu Governor of enforcing an undeclared Emergency in the state.

Stalin said the state government was subservient to the central government and demanded the release of Gopal and withdrawal of all cases filed against him.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss said if the articles were defamatory, then defamation cases could be filed. Gopal’s arrest was also denounced by actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan. (IANS)