Anti-nuclear activist S P Udayakumar, known for his protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project, on Thursday wrote a letter to Press Council of India chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad raising allegations of harassment against news channel Republic TV. In his letter, Udayakumar said he wishes to bring the council’s attention towards the “ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.”
Talking about the “sting operation” reportage being carried out by the channel, raising allegations against him of receiving foreign funds, Udayakumar, in the letter, gave a detailed description of the events that played out before the reportage. Describing Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami as “abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive”, the PMANE convenor said he gave his clarifications in a panel discussion on Republic TV.
He further added that reporter Sanjeev from the channel harassed his family members while he was taking part in the channel’s panel discussion. “As I was taking part in their discussion from Kumbakonam town where I was attending an agitation, Republic TV reporter Sanjeev was standing in front of my home at Nagercoil from 2 pm till 11 pm that night harassing my parents aged 85 and 82 respectively, my wife and school-going son,” Udayakumar wrote. He further added that the reporters, continued “hounding” his family members with “their high-handed behaviour” in a bid to seek a response from them over the allegations, even after they told them that he was out of town.
Udayakumar also alleged that the channel is showing “slanderous reports” about him in a bid to “raise the TRP rate”. Asking PCI to intervene and stop Republic TV from causing more “mental agony to me and my entire family”, the anti-nuclear activist said such behaviour should be unacceptable in a democracy. “This kind of indecent and abusive behavior of an anchor and reporters is unacceptable in a democracy… may I request you to do the needful to stop this anti-people TV from hurting me and more people in future, please,” he wrote in the letter.