Amidst boos and heckling, M Radhakrishnan, who has been accused of trespassing, harassing, moral policing and assaulting a fellow woman journalist, exited the room at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, along with the police.
By around 5.30 pm on Thursday, he was finally arrested after protests by a group of determined women journalists, demanding his arrest and ouster from the post of secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club.
On Saturday night, the woman journalist and her two children were alone at home while her husband, who is also a journalist, was at work. Radhakrishnan, who works in the same organisation as the woman, forcibly entered her house along with a group of people from the neighborhood. He even dragged along a male friend of the woman, who had just left the house after paying a visit. Radhakrishnan then insinuated that the woman and the family friend were in a relationship and allegedly assaulted both.
Two days after the incident, the woman journalist and her husband filed a complaint on December 3. Although the Pettah police registered a case against Rasha, he was not arrested. It took this group of women journalists to demand for action in the matter. Since 11.30 am on Thursday, the women have been sitting in front of the Press Club in protest. It soon caught the attention of media organisations across the state.
While Radhakrishnan was not at the Press Club during the protest, he reached after the women journalists left the premises. He then attended the managing committee meeting, where he reportedly made derogatory remarks against the woman. The women journalists returned to the press club office, as the managing committee did not take any decision to remove Radhakrishnan.
A few hours later, the Pettah police, too, reached the spot. As the police entered the press club office, women journalists continued their protests.
The Tvm Press Club Secretary just got arrested. This happened only because a bunch of women journalists from @NWM_India stood together. He barged into the house of our colleague, moral policed and assualted her. If you touch one of us, we wil retaliate. No longer your fiefdom pic.twitter.com/x5Vm9RbnYBâ€” Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) December 5, 2019
As he was brought out of the office by the police, the women booed at him. Even as he walked out, Radhakrishnan spoke to the media. In an attempt to justify his act of barging into the womanâ€™s house and moral policing her when she was alone with her children, he said, â€śI was only trying to help a family from being broken.â€ť
Radhakrishnanâ€™s arrest is only the first step in this fight. The journalists said that they will end the protests only if he is removed from the post of the Press Club Secretary.
The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) has extended support to the journalists who are protesting. Journalists have also raised objections against the current Internal Committee of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club as it has been constituted without the knowledge of its members.