Nakkheeran crossed all limits: TN Governor’s office

Nakkheeran crossed all limits: TN Governor’s office

Journalist R Gopal

Justifying slapping a case against senior journalist R R Gopal, the Tamil Nadu Raj Bhawan on Friday accused Nakkheeran, the magazine owned by him, of practising “yellow journalism” and said the articles published by it shows the “height of casualness and cowardice in journalistic ethics”.

The statement, which gave clear hints that the Raj Bhawan was still unfazed, said no threats direct or indirect, on a constitutional authority as the honourable Governor, will be tolerated, and that the Raj Bhavan “can and will never be cowed down” by actions aimed at hurting the dignity of the high office.

Gopal was arrested under Section 124 of the IPC that deals with “assault on the President of India or Governors” on Tuesday for publishing a series of articles linking the Governor’s office with a woman professor accused of luring girls. However, a magisterial court refused to remand the journalist under the section and ordered his release.

With Opposition parties and journalists slamming the Raj Bhawan for invoking a seldom-used section, the Governor’s office went on a philosophical overdrive by invoking legends of the Tamil land from saint Tiruvalluvar to A P J Abdul Kalam to ask people of Tamil Nadu to “stand by the side of righteousness, truth and goodness.”

“The truth is that Nirmala Devi has never entered Raj Bhavan in the last one year, and she does not have any acquaintance with the honourable Governor or the Secretary to the Governor or any of the officers working in the Raj Bhavan,” the statement said.

The three-page statement, which had almost a point-by-point rebuttal to stories published by Nakkheeran, also took a swipe at politicians who have rallied behind the magazine and Gopal, saying it was a matter of regret that “utter falsehood and this kind of yellow journalism” is being supported by respectable people who, it appears, are not aware of the facts.

“Every issue has its limits and Raj Bhavan was maintaining a dignified silence for more than six months ever since the issue came to light, for law was taking its course, and the matter was under investigation and subsequently placed before the honourable court for trial. It was indeed shocking to see a resurfacing of yellow journalism in an issue of the magazine Nakkheeran in late September after the charge sheets had been filed and all investigation completed,” it said.

Prof Nirmala Devi was arrested on April 16 for reportedly luring college girls to give sexual favours to top officials.

Immediately after her arrest, Governor Purohit appointed R Santhanam, a former bureaucrat, to look into the incident, and said that he had no links whatsoever to the woman professor and had never met her. He had also called the reports “defamatory” and “baseless” that he had known the woman professor.