Two days after he shared an abusive Facebook post insulting women journalists, BJP leader S Ve Shekher has been booked under four sections by the Chennai Cyber Crime department.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu Journalist Protection Welfare Association lodged a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner. Speaking to TNM, Mithar says, the General Secretary of the Association says, “We are glad that strict action is being taken. He (S Ve Shekher) cannot speak like this about women. As it is, it is difficult for women to come up in professions. This kind of talk is demotivating for women journalists. Our complaint clearly states that even though he has apologised, this cannot be accepted. He should face the legal consequences for his actions.”
Shekher has been booked under Indian Penal Code Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), Section 505 (1) (c) (Statements conducing to public mischief: Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act(Penalty for harassment of woman).
On Thursday, S Ve Shekher shared a Facebook post, written by his friend Thirumalai Sa. However, the headline of the post, which read ‘Madurai University, the Governor and a virgin girl’s cheek’ was S Ve Shekher’s own. He had endorsed the post with three thumbs-up emojis and four Indian flag emojis.
Shekher apologised on Friday, hours before journalists took to the streets to protest the abusive post, claiming that he had not read the post before sharing and that “it was not on purpose & my heartfelt apology.”
Several members of the media fraternity as well as senior political representatives slammed the sexist post on social media.
Case against journalists
On Friday, a large group of journalists from Chennai had protested outside the BJP office against the Facebook post, demanding that the party take action against the leader.
Later, a smaller group of journalists went to S Ve Shekhar's house and continued to protest.
However, this protest turned violent with a few protesting journalists pelting stones on the actor-turned-politician's house and were detained by the police. S Ve Shekher lodged a complaint with the Foreshore Estate police station with CCTV footage from his house. Thirty people (mostly journalists) have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code: 147 (Rioting), 148 (Rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt), 336 (Doing any act which endangers human life or the personal safety of others), 506(i)(Criminal Intimidation) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3 (Punishment for committing mischief in respect of any public property) of the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992.
The Facebook post
Without naming the woman journalist in the incident, the post read: "I feel pity while looking at that woman journalist. She claims she was disturbed because the governor touched her. But when you read her tweets, it is understood that her intention was to target the Governor and Modi. It is actually the governor who has to wash his hands with Phenoyl after touching her. These (TN media persons) are cheap and disgusting creatures. Most people who work in the media in TN are usually Illiterate, cheap and don't have any general knowledge. This woman is not any different."
The post also went on to accuse all women journalists in Tamil Nadu of sleeping around. "Recently this disgusting fact has come out through complaints that women cannot become reporters or anchors unless they sleep with top bosses. And with these faces, they come out to ask questions to the governor," the post stated.
The post was deleted following the furore it sparked, but not before several members of the media fraternity took to Twitter to condemn the post and Shekher.