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Nakkheeran editor RR Gopal arrested for article against Tamil Nadu governor

Chennai : Tamil magazine Nakkheeran’s editor RR Gopal was arrested by Chennai Police on Tuesday morning for allegedly publishing an article against Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit over a “sex scandal” involving an assistant professor.

Police arrested Gopal at the Chennai airport while he was on his way to Pune after Raj Bhavan officials lodged a complaint against the senior journalist.

Nakkeeran has published a cover photo in its current edition of the governor and assistant professor Nirmala Devi, who was arrested on charges of attempting to lure college girls for extending sexual favours to senior officials of the leading Madurai Kamaraj University.

Devi, an assistant professor at the Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai of Virudhunagar district, was arrested in April last year after an audio clip of her purported conversation with her students was shared on social media. She was also heard claiming in the clip that she has close contact with the governor and senior officials.

Police also arrested Karuppasamy, a research scholar, and V Murugan, an assistant professor, in connection with the case.

Nakkheeran also alleged in its report that Devi, who is under the custody of the crime investigation department’s crime branch, has said she met the governor four times. The governor is the chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University to which the Devanga Arts College is affiliated.

Purohit has denied the allegations and said he does not know Devi.

Police sources said Gopal has been booked under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or on charges of preventing the president and governor from discharging their duties.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ’s president MK Stalin condemned the arrest of Gopal.

“With the action of arresting Gopal, it is obvious that the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu is a puppet of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) ruling at the Centre. The governor should have the nature to face criticisms. It shows that press freedom is under a threat now,” Stalin said.

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