V D Satheesan | Photo: PTI
Kozhikode: Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan targeted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and said that the CM is proving that he is a "Modi in dhoti" after the crime branch police team raided the Asianet News office.
The raids were conducted at the office of one of the leading Malayalam news channels based on a complaint by MLA PV Anvar.
"Kerala Chief Minister is proving that he is 'Modi in dhoti'. What Modi did in the BBC office same was done here in the Asianet News office by the CM. This is a clear signal of intolerance. Both (CM and PM) are trying to frighten critics," Satheesan said while talking to the media on Sunday.
Notably, Asianet telecasted a report titled 'Narcotics is a dirty business ' on November 10. The MLA alleged this report is fabricated and submitted a written complaint to DGP.
Based on this, the police registered a case making four people from Asianet accused. Two days back SFI activists had barged into the Asianet office in Kochi. Today's raid by crime branch Assistant Commissioner V. Suresh and seven cops is a continuation of the incidents.
A case was registered under sections of POCSO and the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Sindhu Sooryakumar, Executive Editor of Asianet News on Sunday said in a statement that the channel "will do free and fair journalism without fear" adding that it will cooperate with the investigation process.
"Asianet news will cooperate with any investigation as per law. The investigation is against a story as part of the campaign against the drug mafia which is gaining strength. There are allegations in the FIR that attempts to defame the image of government were made," Sooryakumar said.
"The fight against the drug mafia is in the interest of society. The government using its powers is an encroachment on media freedom. The speed of action on the complaint of a ruling MLA has to be specifically mentioned. Asianet News is making its stand clear that even before starting the investigation, entering into the office and goondaism is not suitable for a democratic culture. Asianet News will do free and fair journalism without fear," Sooryakumar added.