Tamil Nadu

T.N. Raj Bhavan defends plaint against Nakkheeran Gopal, denies Governor had links with jailed Nirmala Devi

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit during an interview with The Hindu at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan on Friday strongly defended its complaint against Tamil magazine Nakkheeran Editor RR Gopal and his employees while denying that Governor Banwarilal Purohit or his office had any links with jailed assistant professor Nirmala Devi.

Accusing Nakkheeran of practising "yellow journalism", an official release said the Raj Bhavan “can and will never be cowed down by actions aimed at hurting the dignity of the High Office”.

The statement issued by the joint director (PR) at the Raj Bhavan also said that “no threats direct or indirect on a constitutional authority as the Honourable Governor will be tolerated”.

The three-page statement did not address widespread criticism of the Raj Bhavan's insistence on invoking Section 124 of IPC (Assaulting President / Governor) against the Nakkheeran Editor, staff and distributors.

'Only absolute falsehood'

The release said a complaint was given having been hurt by the continuous baseless slander.

The Raj Bhavan said there was “only absolute falsehood” and not a shred of truthfulness in the links attributed to the Governor in the issue of Ms Devi, allegedly luring young women for some highly placed men in return for academic gains.

“The statement given by her [Nirmala Devi] before the police will itself bear out the truth. This being the case, it is a matter of humour to say that press freedom is being threatened on the count, of action, being taken under the law after much patience and tolerance to stop a slanderous, vulgar, and cowardly way of attacking the first citizen of the State”.

The Raj Bhavan said it was maintaining a dignified silence for more than six months as the law was taking its own course and the matter was under investigation, and was before the court for trial.

'Yellow journalism in the guise of magazine'

“It was indeed shocking to see a resurfacing of yellow journalism in an issue of the magazine Nakkheeran in late September after the charge sheets had been filed and all investigation completed,” the statement said adding that those who claimed to have undertaken investigative journalism had not even bothered to verify the actual statement given by Ms. Devi to the police.

Slamming the magazine for “casualness and cowardice in journalistic ethics,” the Raj Bhavan said that Ms. Devi had never entered the Raj Bhavan in the last one year and “she does not have any aquaintance with the Honourable Governor or the Secretary to the Governor or any of the Officers working in the Raj Bhavan”.

The Raj Bhavan also dismissed allegations of Mr. Purohit visiting the university guest house of the Madurai Kamaraj University nor did his secretary accompany him.

“It can only be a deep sense of hatred towards goodness and truth that could have driven any journalist to have written the articles in the manner they appeared in the Nakkheeran,” the statement said.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 7:50:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-raj-bhavan-defends-action-against-nakkheeran-denies-links-with-nirmala-devi/article25202061.ece

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