VILLUPURAM: Senior journalist Savithri Kannan was booked by Kallakurichi police cyber crime cell and detained for questioning on Sunday.
A team of police from Kallakurichi arrived at the Aram news portal editor’s house in Chennai on Sunday morning, claiming they were taking him for questioning in connection with an article published on the website on Friday. In the article, he’d alleged that the suicide note purportedly written by the Kallakurichi schoolgirl before her death is fake.
The scribe’s detention was widely condemned, with Naam Tamizhar Katchi chief Seeman, Chennai Press Club, Centre for Media Persons for Change and other social outfits calling for his release.
“A team of policemen in mufti entered my house and introduced themselves as cops from Kallakurichi cyber crime cell. I would have gone with them without creating any problem, but they seized my phone and forcibly took me with them,” the journalist said.
“First they said they’d take me to Kallakurichi but they stopped at Olakkur police station (on Villupuram district border) and questioned me before letting me off,” he said.
‘Journalist booked for unsubstantiated story’
Kallakurichi police sources said the journalist was booked under four sections of IPC, namely Section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
Police claimed he’d been booked for his “unsubstantiated” story on the Class 12 student’s suicide note and other allegations against the court and police despite warnings on media coverage of the case from Madras High Court and CB-CID.
“They questioned me about my story on the website and asked if I had any proof. I told them that I had written the story without crossing the limits of freedom of expression,” said Savithri Kannan. He added that he wanted a transparent and fair inquiry in case of the girl’s death and had published articles for that purpose.
“After taking my statement, they sent me home with my lawyer and asked me to present myself for the further inquiries,” he added. The schoolgirl was found dead on the premises of a private school on July 13. Her family alleged she was murdered and protests demanding justice devolved into a riot on July 17. A CB-CID team is probing the death and an SIT the riot.