Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bombs hurled at Chennai TV channel

Four unidentified men hurled two crude bombs packed in tiffin boxes at the office of a Tamil TV news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai in Chennai at around 3 am on Wednesday, according to reports. The entire incident was caught on CCTV camera, according toZee News. The footage showed four men on two bikes hurling two bombs at the office. No one was injured in the attack, said the report. According to PTI, A Hindu Ilaignar Sena worker has taken responsibility for the attack and has surrendered to the police.

Firstpost contacted the CEO of New Generation Media Corporation (Puthiyathalaimurai Group) RBU Shyam Kumar who said that around 3.15 am four men on two bikes went by the office and almost three minutes later came back to hurl the boxes in the office premise.

"Earlier, there have been protests against media houses in Chennai but this is the first time that a group attacked a media house," Kumar told Firstpost. Kumar said that on Women's Day, the channel planned to air a show on the relevance of the 'thali' or the 
'mangalsutra' which was criticised by the Hindu Munani groups. "It was a debate show and we were discussing the relevance of the 'thali'. With more and more women opting not to wear it, we thought it was a good topic to debate on Women's Day," Kumar added.

According to Kumar, last Sunday, a mob attacked a cameraperson and another staff from the TV channel right outside the office. The mob was approaching the office to stage a protest against the show. Kumar said the protests were staged by Hindu Munani groups. Police had arrested ten people, Kumar added.

The broadcast of the debate show has been put on hold for now, an NDTV report said.

With channels and experts debating over curbs on free speech in India, this could set a bad precedence, Kumar said. "The attack was of low intensity but the intent behind the attack was bigger than it seems and we condemn it. If this is what the state of media is in India then we should be worried," he added.