TN Assembly Orders Arrest Of Hindu Editor

Chennai, Nov 7: | Updated: Nov 8 2003, 05:30am hrs
Tamil Nadu assembly on Friday sentenced the editor, executive editor, publisher, chief of bureau and a special correspondent of English daily The Hindu, and Editor of Tamil daily Murasoli in a breach of privilege issue for 15 days simple imprisonment.

The papers had in March this year carried an editorial on the conduct of speaker K Kalimuthu and other members of the House.

The privilege issue was raised by RPI member CK Tamilarasan in March and the matter was then referred to the privileges committee. The report of the committee, headed by deputy speaker Arunachalam was placed in the House on Friday evening.

Leader of the House and finance minister C Ponnaiyan moved a resolution accepting the recommendations of the privileges committee. The resolution was adopted amidst protests from the entire Opposition including DMK, PMK, Congress, BJP, CPI and CPI-M.

The resolution also said passes given to these two newspapers for covering assembly proceedings would be withdrawn for 15 days in the case of The Hindu and for 10 days in the case of Murasoli. Later, speaker Mr Kalimuthu told newsmen that he has issued warrant of arrests.

Meanwhile Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N Ram described it as outrageous act and said the newspaper will fight it out in the court. Speaking to newsmen at the papers office, Mr Ram said the decision was to throttle and infringe on the freedom of the press. We will also use every possible fora in the country to get justice, he said.

Expressing shock and surprise over the entry of a police team inside the newspapers office, Mr Ram said the handing down of imprisonment to newspapers was not new as there were precedents earlier.