More arrests for hounding Kerala TV anchor: police

Thiruvananthapuram, March 1 (IANS) After arresting five suspects, police in Kerala say that more arrests are likely on charges of abusing and threatening a leading woman anchor of a popular TV channel.

The telephone of anchor Sindhu Suryakumar of Asianet TV has not stopped ringing since she anchored a discussion on Friday night on HRD Minister Smrithi Irani’s comments on Mahishasura in parliament last week.

Suryakumar told IANS that she had received more than 2,500 calls, abusing and threatening her. She has been accused of using words to describe Hindu gooddess Durga which she insists she never used.

“I am yet to figure out what wrong I did. I never, ever mentioned a word on Durga Devi. Now I feel I am being targeted with some motive,” she said.

“Although I am not scared, it’s a nuisance. Even today numerous calls came from various parts of the country and abroad. Now I answer only calls that are from people known to me,” she added.

Suryakumar said she had been told that five people had been arrested and more arrests would take place.

Police have said that all the people who had been arrested were linked to various Hindutva groups.

The anchor told IANS: “What I want the police to find out is the brain behind this organised hounding. If not, how can this happen even after the police registering a case and arrests were made?”

Suryakumar anchors a hugely popular weekly programme, Cover Story.

K.A. Beena, who met senior police officials at the head of a group of women journalists, told IANS on Tuesday that both Director General of Police T.P. Senkumar and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala have promised action.

“This (the threats) is not acceptable. She never did any wrong except handle that day’s news,” Beena said.

“We have been assured that proper action will be taken and the police will do their job and the guilty will be punished,” she said.

The Congress and the CPI-M have condemned the harassment and sought tough action against those who have threatened Suryakumar.

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