Several hundred members of the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) and human rights organisations staged a protest on Wednesday at South Indian Film Artistes’ Association here condemning a report on actors published in a Tamil daily recently.

Actors, including Rajinikanth, Vijayakant, Suriya, Karthi Sivakumar, Arun Vijay, Radhika, Revathi, Sripriya and Uravasi, and directors Selvamani, Cheran, Ramesh Kanna were among those who took part in the protest. South Indian Film Artistes’ Association president R. Sarath Kumar and its secretary Radha Ravi also participated.

Stressing the need for exercising restraint while publishing reports on actors, Mr. Rajinikanth said that it is important for newspapers to become sensitive to the emotions of people when publishing defamatory reports.

Actor Suriya and director Selvamani suggested that FEFSI should have legal cell to deal with such reports.

Mr. Vijayakant said that press freedom should not be misused and media should avoid hurting sentiments of people. Actors Revathi, Seetha, Rohini and Nalini condemned the media report and urged the film industry to stay united at times of crises.

Earlier, members from All India Democratic Women’s Association and women members of FEFSI raised slogans against the Tamil daily and demanded legal action against those responsible for the report.

Journalist arrested

On Wednesday evening, the Central Crime Branch police arrested the News Editor of Tamil daily Dinamalar, Chennai, following a complaint lodged by a representative of South Indian Film Artists Association (SIFAA). B. Lenin (48) was picked up by a police team from the office on Anna Salai.

Actor and secretary of SIFAA Radha Ravi lodged the police complaint.

Following this a case was registered against Mr. Lenin under Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.

He was produced before a magistrate at the Egmore court and remanded to custody.

Arrest condemned

The Chennai Press Club and the Madras Union of Journalists condemned the arrest of Mr. Lenin.

They asked the State government to intervene for the release of Mr. Lenin.

The Chennai Press Club stressed the need for good relations between film artists and journalists.