Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation Mayor Arya Rajendran on Wednesday, May 19, filed a complaint with the district police chief against M Radhakrishnan, Secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club. The Mayor had reportedly received complaints about Radhakrishnan threatening traders to provide free groceries for a community kitchen he claimed the press club was running. In her complaint to the police, Mayor Arya Rajendran also said that Radhakrishnan tried to mislead the merchant that the community kitchen was being run by the Corporation and demanded the free groceries and donation.
Speaking to the media, the Mayor said that the community kitchen is run by the Press Club and has no connection with the Corporation. She said she called Radhakrishnan for clarification on the matter, and when she did not receive a proper response, she filed the complaint with the police. Gavaskar, a merchant from Kattakada in Thiruvananthapuram, alleged in a separate complaint that Radhakrishnan approached him for free provisions, as the Press Club was “running” a community kitchen. Gavaskar further accused Radhakrishnan of threatening him to provide 10 sacks of rice and other grocery items for free.
In December 2019, Radhakrishnan was suspended from the Press Club after he trespassed into a woman journalist’s house and moral policed her in front of her children. He was arrested based on the complaint of the victim, and later left on bail. As per the complaint, he insinuated a relationship between the complainant and a male family friend, and harassed the two in front of the victim’s children after barging into her home.
Though he was removed from the post of Secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, Radhakrishnan reinstated himself a few months ago, claiming he got a court order. However, the trial for the criminal proceedings against him have not yet begun. Meanwhile,the Network of Women in media (NWMI) has written a letter to political and cultural leaders to not associate with Radhakrishnan. This statement was issued after opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and CPI(M) state secretary A Vijayaraghavan shared the dais with Radhakrishnan in an event organised by the Press Club. The NWMI further stated that supporters of Radhakrishnan have been trying to whitewash his reputation by inviting senior political and cultural leaders to his events.