CHENNAI: AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam on Thursday urged the ruling DMK to direct the police to immediately drop a case registered against journalists in an alleged extortion case and take steps to protect the freedom of the press.
The police action in filing an FIR, he said, "Should not have been hasty but ought to have been fair and impartial."
Quoting media reports on an FIR filed against the journalists of a Tamil bi-weekly, a whistleblower and a Youtuber allegedly for making extortion calls to a popular real estate firm here, recently, Panneerselvam sought the case against the journalists be dropped immediately and a probe ordered on the "sudden spectacular growth" of the construction company.
"Otherwise, I would like to inform you that the situation will change according to the proverbial saying on the king who lost his subjects and property due to his unjust rule. It is the duty of the press to bring to the notice of the state the shortcomings, evils and corruption in the society and to inform the people from time to time about the happenings," Panneerselvam said.
The press greatly contributes to the overall development of a country, the former chief minister said, while adding that he was constrained to highlight the case involving few journalists and the real estate company that has claimed that it was asked to give Rs 50 lakh to keep out a news article from getting published.
"There were reports that the magazine had clarified that there was no connection between the individual who demanded money and the news organisation," the AIADMK leader claimed.