Tamil bi-weekly had carried a report describing Jayalalithaa as a beef-eater

The office of Tamil bi-weekly Nakkheeran was attacked by AIADMK activists on Saturday after it carried a report describing Chief Minister Jayalalithaa as a beef-eater.

AIADMK workers came in batches, burnt copies of the magazine and threw stones, damaging window shields, cars and other vehicles parked inside the office.

Maattu Kari Saapidum Maami Naan (I am a Brahmin woman who eats beef)' was the title of the write-up, featured as the cover story of the Nakkheeran issue that hit the stands on Saturday.

The article which did not mention any source was presented as a narrative of Ms. Jayalalithaa discussing with a group of people the developments in the wake of the expulsion of her former friend Sasikala and family members from the AIADMK and her Poes Garden residence.

The story claimed that Ms Jayalalithaa told her friends that there was no basis for the allegation that a ‘Mylapore mafia' had entered her residence after Ms. Sasikala's expulsion.

Ms. Jayalalithaa was reported as having taken exception to the alleged “campaign by DMK president M. Karunanidhi and Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani,” that a Brahmin coterie had replaced Ms. Sasikala and her family.

Recalling how AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran promoted her as propaganda secretary to take on Mr. Karunanidhi, brushing aside the apprehension of many party seniors such as S.D. Somasundaram, K.A. Krishnasamy and C. Ponnaiyan that her Brahmin background would be a handicap for a Dravidian party, the article reported Ms Jayalalithaa as saying that MGR had argued that she could not be considered a Brahmin as she had even cooked beef for him.

The article infuriated AIADMK workers. A group of them entered the Nakkheeran office on Jhani Jahan Khan Road at Royapettah here after assaulting the watchman. They demanded the arrest of Nakkheeran editor Gopal.

After they were arrested another batch led by Velachery MLA M.K. Ashok arrived and locked the office. They were also arrested. The police broke the lock and released mediapersons who had gone inside to collect reports.

After some time, a few Chennai Corporation councillors reached the spot with their supporters. Besides burning copies of the magazine, they hurled broomsticks and footwear into the office. Later, senior AIADMK leader E. Madhusoothanan staged a protest in front of the office.

In a statement, Mr. Gopal said that though the City Commissioner promised security, police personnel remained mute spectators, allowing the ruling party workers to complete the task of attacking his office.

“There is no security for our lives and belongings,” he said and sought the support of journalists, political parties and social organisations to withstand the attempt by the ruling party to trample upon the freedom of the Press.

Mr. Ponnaiyan denied the allegations attributed to him in the magazine, saying whatever the magazine had reported was “utter falsehood.”

No arrests made

Chennai police made no arrest till Saturday night following the attack on the office of Nakkheeran.

However, police sources said, there is no complaint lodged by the authorities of the magazine following the attack but had requested for police protection for their office fearing more such attacks.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of AIADMK lawyers met the Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy and submitted a petition urging him to take immediate action against Mr. Gopal.They also snatched copies of the magazine from many newsstands and threatened shopkeepers not to sell the magazine hereafter, police sources added.