On Saturday, the Tamil news channel and director Ameer were booked for a debate that had taken place in Coimbatore.

Puthiya Thalaimurai case Opposition slams govt over curbing of press freedom
news Press Freedom Monday, June 11, 2018 - 12:47

Two days after cases were slapped against Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai and two of the participants in a debate show organised by the channel, DMK Working President and Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin moved a special call for attention motion in the assembly on Monday, condemning the incident in assembly.

Stalin called the action a curbing of press freedom in the state and called for a dismissal of the case. He also said that it was not possible to preempt what participants would speak. Stalin further asked why BJP members at the event venue were not booked.

According to DMK leader TKS Elangovan who was present at the venue, the BJP and RSS cadre in the audience created a ruckus following Ameer's comments.

Following this, Congress MLA KR Ramaswamy asked if such a case against the channel and the participants was at all necessary. He also added that the purpose of such a platform was for people to express their views.

Responding to this, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy said appropriate action with regards to the case would be taken after the investigation.

The debate titled, 'Are continuous protests for people's basic needs or for political reasons?' was being filmed at a private college in Coimbatore. Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan, DMK leader TKS Elangovan, Tamil Manila Congress leader Gnanadesikan and CPI(M) state secretary Balakrishnan were also participants in the debate show. According to the police, Ameer was responding to the BJP state president when he made remarks about the communal tension which prevailed in Coimbatore following the murder of Hindu Munnani functionary C Sasikumar in 2016.

The Peelamedu police booked two participants of the show, director Ameer, Kangeyam MLA U Thaniyarasu, as well as the organiser Puthiya Thalaimurai TV and the channel's reporter for promoting enmity on religious grounds.

Ameer has been booked under Sections 153 (A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion), and 505 of IPC (Intent to incite one community against another) for making remarks which could lead to tension between sections of people.

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