Justice for Engineer: Do campaigns show weakened AIADMK's stranglehold over media?
news Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed | The News Minute | April 1, 2015 | 05:59 pm IST (Analysis) Never has a ruling AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government been subjected to such a prolonged display of negativity, at least in recent history. When agricultural engineer Muthukumarasamy stepped in front of a speeding train this February, he didnâ€™t leave behind a note to explain why he took this extreme step. But when rumours floated over the involvement of then Agriculture Minister, S.S. Krishnamoorthy in his death, it led to Jayalalithaa sacking him - inadvertently giving an unexpected boost to the simmering resentment against the government. In the past few days, there has been a lot of media attention on Muthukumaraswamyâ€™s death, with many English and Tamil news channels and papers starting campaigns asking for justice. When compared to other state governments and chief ministers, the AIADMK government that is known for sending legal notices for any negative or critical reporting has been handled with kid gloves by the media. Even stories of government officials being â€śpressuredâ€ť by ruling parties were not something new. But the sentiment in the country against governments not protecting honest officers coupled with years of being pressured to ration criticism, seems to have forced the media this time to break the shackles. â€śThe government has been suppressing the media for years, we know the number of cases against media and reporters,â€ť Kanimozhi, DMKâ€™s Rajya Sabha MP, told The News Minute. â€śThe AIADMK government is one that has never given any security to media houses, which also in turn forced the media to be quiet for many years on issues. But I think when things came to a point, and it became unbearable, even the media has started doing campaigns against the government,â€ť she said. As of now the stateâ€™s CB-CID has been directed to investigate the engineerâ€™s death. However, there has been a demand for a transfer of the case to the CBI for an independent investigation. In 2012, Ramajayam , a real estate promoter and the brother of former DMK minister KN Nehru was kidnapped and killed while out on a morning walk in Tiruchirapalli. The victimâ€™s wife, Latha Ramjeyam had filed a petition seeking a transfer of the case from the CB-CID to the CBI since no arrests in the case had been made even 32 months after the murder took place.Â She also accusing the police of taking no efforts to solve the case, reported The Hindu. Â Back then, DMDK president Vijayakanth had slammed the ruling government for failing to make any headway in the case. Even though 177 witnesses were examined according to the report, she had demanded the transfer. However, in January 2015, the court gave the CB-CID a timeframe until March to crack the case. â€śOne doesn't have faith in the Tamil Nadu governmentâ€™s investigation. That is why there has been a demand for an independent investigation by the CBI,â€ť said political analyst, Gnani. When political parties came together in unison The opposition has been united in the furore over the lack of action against those involved in Muthukumaraswamyâ€™s suicide. So much so, that the DMK, DMDK, PMK, CPI-M and AAP have expressed their protest in various ways. While the national spotlight remained on DK Raviâ€™s death in Bengaluru, parties like the AAP in Tamil Nadu kept the momentum of the anger over the suicide going by barging into the Chief Ministerâ€™s residence - an act that left them in jail for a week. The BJP on the other hand, has remained consistently silent on the issue conveying the message that the AIADMK remains their friendly ally in the state. More than a month after the incident, there has been no new information in investigations surrounding the case - an indication of the close-walled approach the police have been taking. "The police are being very secretive, there is no update on the case. No one has been questioned. The case needs to be handed over to the CBI,â€ť said Kanimozhi. â€śThey only share information if it suits their interest,â€ť said Gnani. Since the ruling party is accused, and the police belong to the ruling party, most of the time information will not be amiable. So they will be stone walling everything, he said. ReadÂ After DK Ravi, parties in Tamil Nadu wake up to government officialâ€™s death ReadÂ Jayalalithaa unhappy with allegations against minister, drops him from party post Tweet Follow @thenewsminute