A senior television journalist from Kerala has approached the state police against several people propagating defamatory comments against her on social media.
Shani Prabhakaran, Chief News Producer at Manorama News channel filed a complaint with the Director General of Police on Thursday, after an organised cyber attack was unleashed on her.
In her complaint to the police chief, Shani said that a photograph of her with CPI (M) MLA from Thripunithura, M Swaraj, inside an elevator was being used to defame her.
"These people have been spreading highly degrading comments about me on Facebook and WhatsApp, by sharing a picture of me along with a friend and MLA M Swaraj. These people are spreading demeaning comments with sexual undertones," reads her complaint.
Shani, who hosts the popular show Parayathe Vayya and primetime debate called Counter Point on Manorama News, is known to be a journalist who asks tough questions. She has been a target for harassment for her political debates on the channel. Over the years, Shani has also been labeled as a supporter of the Left by right wing factions.
A series of photographs of Shani in an elevator along with Left MLA Swaraj is being shared widely on social media.
The series of "leaked" photographs were first circulated by an online news portal Narada News. The portal published an article claiming that Shani held talks with Swaraj so that she could be a CPI (M) candidate in Ernakulam. These talks were held with the knowledge of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Narada claimed.
The report claimed that a section of CPI (M) leaders eyeing the parliamentary seat, had approached the party leadership with "CCTV visuals" of the meeting between Shani and Swaraj.
However, these pictures were soon used by troll pages (like right wing page called Outspoken) and by another portal called Pravasishabdam to make disparaging remarks about Shani and Swaraj.
In her complaint, Shani has sought police action to be taken against the cyber attack, "that has affected her integrity as an individual and privacy as a woman."
She has also submitted the links of accounts that have been propagating the derogatory messages against her.