Veteran journalist Nakkheeran Gopal was arrested by the Chennai police for allegedly defaming Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in his articles in the Nirmala Devi case.
Gopal was reportedly on his way to Pune while he was picked up by the police in Chennai Airport. The cover story of the Nakkheeran magazine's September edition showed the pictures of Nirmala Devi, an accused in the 'sex for cash' scam and the Governor. The cover said that Nirmala Devi had told CB CID which is investigating the case that she had met the Governor four times. The story had questioned why the Governor has not been made part of the inquiry. However, according to the remand report, he was arrested for an article on the same topic in April this year.
According to preliminary reports, the arrest was allegedly made on a complaint given by Governor Banwarilal Purohit accusing Gopal of defaming him in his reportage. The police are not confirming the section under which he was arrested. An FIR has been filed under Section 124 of the IPC. This section pertains to assaulting the President or Governor with intent to compel or restrain exercise of any lawful power.
Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor in Devangar Arts College in Virudhunagar district was arrested after four students complained that she tried to lure them to provide sexual favors to the officers. The students also submitted audio recordings of their conversations with Nirmala Devi.
In the recordings Nirmala Devi had claimed that she knew several high level officers including the Governor.
Along with her, Karuppasamy, a former research student of fine arts at the Madurai Kamara University and V Murugan, assistant professor in the same university were also arrested.
The Governor, in turn, appointed a one-man committee under retired bureaucrat R Santhanam to probe into the allegations.
The case was transferred to CB-CID, which recently submitted its report stating that Nirmala Devi had tried to lure the girls to provide sexual favors for the co-accused Karuppasamy and Murugan. The report also indicated that no big fish was involved in the scam as alleged by Nirmala Devi in the recordings.