The tensions and hostility surrounding the private residential school in Kallukurichi, which had witnessed violent protests in July following the death of a Class XII student, refuses to die down.
In a recent incident, a gang of 10 members in the area, which included members of the AIADMK party, assaulted a visiting senior journalist and a photographer working with a Tamil magazine in Chennai. They were working on a follow-up story on the case.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu police had arrested another journalist Savithiri Kannan for giving interviews to You Tube channels on the death of the Class XII student.
Also read: Violence in Kallakurichi, TN over schoolgirl’s death; Sec 144 imposed
Talking to The Federal, Damodharan Prakash (56), a journalist from Nakkheeran magazine, who has been closely following the developments in the case pertaining to the death of the Class XII student, said that the school management wanted to throttle the voice of the media by resorting to violence.
Asked what had led to the attack on him on Monday (September 19), Prakash said that he along with his photographer, S Ajithkumar, had visited Kaniyamoor village in Kallakurichi. His photographer was clicking pictures of the newly-renovated school, after it had been damaged during the violence that had rocked the town after the death of the student.
“When he started taking pictures they started attacking us. They attacked our vehicle. We did not want to cause trouble and we soon left the spot. However, they chased us on five bikes and one car and stopped us near Athur. They dragged us outside the car and started assaulting us,” said Prakash.
The locals rescued the two of them and sent them to the local police station.
“The local AIADMK councillor K Rajasekar and the private school owner Ravikumar’s brother Arul Subash were the prime accused since they were the ones who led the attack on us. They were angry because we were questioning the death of the Class XII girl ever since the incident happened,” said Prakash.
Based on a complaint from Prakash, the Salem rural police has registered a case against 11 people, including the AIADMK union panchayat councillor Rajasekar and Arul Subash under various sections including section 307(attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code read with section 3 of the TNPPDL Act.
Also read: Kallakurichi school mystery: Multiple students dead; inhuman treatment alleged
Police have also arrested five people including the AIADMK councillor K Rajasekar and remanded them under judicial custody. The school management, however, refused to speak.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu police had earlier arrested a senior journalist Savithri Kannan, associated with a news website for also publishing an article on the death of a Class XII girl student. He was arrested for his article, which had questioned the credibility of the suicide note allegedly written by the Class XII girl. However, after a massive outcry by journalist unions, he was released on bail.
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