Scribes stage protest in TN, film stars thank CM

Kollywood should give up confrontationist approach

Bhuvaneshwari: In the eye of a storm

Lenin was picked up by the Central Crime Branch Police on Wednesday for writing a defamatory article casting aspersions on some film stars. Later, he was remanded in judicial custody. He was charged under the Tamil Nadu Harassment of Women (Prevention) Act.

The Madras Union of Journalists and the Chennai Press Club strongly condemned the  arrest and demanded his immediate release. After a protest meeting at the Press Club premises, the journalists staged a road roko.
The scribes hit out at the police for  entering a newspaper’s office and arresting its news editor, when ‘Dinamalar’ had already published an apology for publishing an “unverified report”.

The Tamil Nadu government “should interfere” in this matter to get the journalist released and Kollywood should also give up “its confrontationist approach” towards the media, the Chennai Press Club said in a statement.

“It appears that the police have been acting under some pressure,” Walter Scott, senior journalist, said. When the SIFAA members met the city police commissioner two days ago, the latter had clearly said that the members of the film fraternity could individually seek a judicial remedy by filing defamation complaints against the newspaper, Scott said.
Despite this, the arrest of  Lenin showed “they acted under pressure” after top film personalities led by Rajnikanth and others held a protest meeting, virtually goading the government to take some action or the other, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, a contingent of the South Indian Film Artistes Association (SIFAA), on whose complaint the police arrested Lenin,  led by actor Sarath Kumar met Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday to “thank” the government for the prompt action.
The newspaper publishing a “small apology in an unseen corner will not do,” as the article had already damaged the artistes’ reputation, Sarath Kumar told reporters after the meeting. The paper should come out with a public apology in bold letters, he demanded.

However, he said the film industry needed the support of the media. “We still need the media’s support (for our films),” he said.

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