The office of Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai was attacked on Thursday by a motorcycle-borne gang with crude bombs, just days after it was forced to cancel the telecast of a programme at the instance of Hindutva outfits. No one was injured in the incident.
The bombs stuffed in a food carrier and a ‘soap box’ exploded outside the office, but caused no damage to property. While the city police arrested six persons involved in the attack, the president of Hindu Ilaignar Sena, Jayam A. Pandian, surrendered in a Madurai court claiming responsibility for the incident.
Around 3 a.m., four men on two motorcycles hurled two bombs into the compound of the channel’s office on the Guindy Industrial Estate.
Both exploded with a loud noise shocking security personnel N. Janakiraman and S. Rajasekar on duty and mediapersons on night shift in the building. It was a low-intensity blast as the bombs were assembled using firecrackers, the police said.
CCTV cameras installed on the office premises captured the images of the attack and a preliminary examination by the police of the footage revealed dark pictures of the suspects, who were spotted loitering in the area 30 minutes before the attack.
On Sunday, a cameraman of Puthiya Thalaimurai was attacked allegedly by some Hindu Munnani cadres, who had gathered outside its office to protest against the scheduled telecast of a controversial debate by the channel. The debate was on the question whether the ‘thaali’ (the ‘mangalsutra’ worn by married women) was still relevant in this day and age. Hindu outfits claimed it was an affront to Hindu culture.
Chennai Police Commissioner S. George said the six persons involved in the attack were — Venugopal (29), Saravanan (24), Siva (22), Murali (32), Raja (22) and Mahadevan (27) — all employees of a travel agency owned by Jayam Pandian in Koyambedu here.
A motorbike used for the crime and unused crackers were seized.