Chennai | Suspected members of a fringe right-wing outfit today threw crude bombs at the local office of a popular Tamil TV news channel over a proposed interactive show on ‘Thaali’ (Mangal Sutra), drawing widespread condemnation from media bodies and political parties which termed it as an attack on freedom of expression.
Four motorcycle-borne men hurled two crude bombs packed in tiffin boxes early today but no one was injured in the attack caught on CCTV cameras, police said.
A senior police official said police teams had zeroed in on the culprits and they would be arrested soon.
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 March 19.
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 March 8 as planned following a protest by the Hindu Munnani during which a video journalist was allegedly assaulted and his equipment damaged.
DMK Treasurer M K Stalin flayed the incident as a cowardly attempt to threaten the freedom of media. The real perpetrators of this cowardly attempt to threaten the freedom of media should be brought to swift justice, he wrote in his Facebook page.
BJP’s state unit President Tamizhisai Sounderrajan said her party was opposed to any form of violence, espcially those against a media house. This (incident) is really condemnable. It is a cowardly attack, she said.
CPI (M) state Secretary G Ramakrishnan said one could come up with a counterpoint to an issue but not take to violence while CPI state secretary R Mutharasan demanded that police act swiftly to nab the culprits.
Besides the channel management, media bodies like Chennai Press Club and Madras Union of Journalists condemned the attack, even as journalists staged a protest here.
The Hindu Munnani in a petition to the police commissioner alleged that the incident was planned at maligning it as it protested the show. The incident was also aimed at scuttling the chances of 10 arrested activists from getting bail.
Alleging a conspiracy, it sought action against those responsible.
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