Chennai-based journalist Sandhya Ravishankar has alleged intimidation by unidentified persons and has put out CCTV footage from the camera outside her house on Thursday. Sandhya Ravishankar is an independent journalist known for her exposes on the sand mafia in Tamil Nadu.
In a series of tweets on Friday morning, she said that on Thursday morning she found that the petrol tube in her bike was cut, when she went to start her bike. She then went on to watch CCTV footage taken from the camera fitted in her house, overseeing the parked vehicles outside the house.
In the first video clip attached in the thread, it can been seen that two men stop their bike in front of her house at 11.43 pm on Wednesday. One of the men, gets down with a bottle in his hand, while the rider sitting on the bike with his helmet on his head tears a cloth and gives it to the man who got down. They are then seen doing something with the bottle and the cloth. The rider too then gets down from the bike, his helmet intact, and walks towards Sandhya's bike. What he does after that is not visible in the clip since a wall blocks the CCTV's. After a few seconds both the men ride away.
Two days after I filed a police complaint with the CoP on my privacy being violated and harassment being meted out, a strange incident occurs. On 27.09.2018 I went to start my bike to head to work. I found the petrol tube was cut. Initial thought was "petrol thief". pic.twitter.com/YescYv7KlZâ€” Sandhya Ravishankar (@sandhyaravishan) September 28, 2018
The second clip tweeted by Sandhya shows the men again coming back at 11.51 pm and the man with the helmet alighting from his bike and coming near the wall of the house, similar to the previous clip. The guys then speed away after 20 seconds.
In the final tweet in the thread, Sandhya also attached a picture of the complaint she filed with the Kumaran Nagar police station detailing out the incidents seen in the CCTV footages and told that the police had since increased patrolling in her street.
Speaking to TNM regarding the incident, Sandhya said that the inspector and the sub inspector from the Kumaran nagar police station visited her house on Thursday evening and the patrolling has been increased around her house since then.
â€śThis is my sixth complaint within a year and the patrolling has been increased since last night. However, no FIR has been filed for any of my complaints so far,â€ť she said.
She also added that the incident cannot be a coincidence as it was only recently that she had filed a police complaint against the police department. A blogger named Savukku published a post with CCTV footage showing her meeting with former DGP Ramanujam at a cafe on Chamiers road in Chennai. Sandhya had questioned how the CCTV footage of an innocuous meeting that she as a journalist had with her source was leaked to the blogger. In a letter to the Chennai Police Commissioner, she had said that private establishments download CCTV footage only at the behest of the police and that she suspected there was a plot against her.
Condemning the harassment and intimidation tactics meted out against Sandhya Ravishankar, various journalists and journalists associations have come out in support of her. They have also urged the state government and the police to take action on the complaint filed by Sandhya.