Veteran Tamil journalist Nakkeeran Gopal, the editor of Tamil bi-weekly ‘Nakkeeran,’ was arrested by the Chennai City Police on Tuesday morning, reportedly on a complaint from Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s office.
According to a senior police officer, Gopal was taken into custody around 8.15 am from the Chennai airport. He was reportedly travelling to Pune to attend an event there. Sources close to Gopal said the police is likely to press sedition charges against him.
A top police officer confirmed Gopal’s arrest. “He was arrested by a deputy commissioner rank official from Adyar. We will reveal other details later,” the officer said.
Refusing to comment on the nature of the complaint from Raj Bhavan, the officer said there were reports in Nakkeeran linking Governor Purohit and his office to a recent university sex scandal. The reports, he said, also cited multiple visits of the main accused in the scandal, Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district, to Raj Bhavan.
Nirmala Devi was arrested in April after an audio clip of her purported conversation with girl students went viral on social media in which she is heard asking them to give sexual favours to officials for marks and money.
After the alleged role of the Governor and some top officials in his office emerged in the controversy, opposition parties in Tamil Nadu demanded the resignation of Governor Purohit, forcing him to address the media to deny charges against him. In the press meet, he claimed he had never seen the face of the woman and that demanding resignation was the job of the opposition parties. “I do not know the lady, I have never met the lady. I am surrounded by so many people always and it is not possible for anyone to meet me without my permission,” Purohit told the media in the third week of April.