Updated: August 4, 2021 4:05:23 pm
A man brandishing a sword and shield ransacked the Chennai office of TV news channel ‘Sathiyam’ on Tuesday evening. CCTV footage released by the channel shows the man damaging the reception area and threatening the workers.
According to the driving licence he left behind, the man was identified as 31-year-old Rajesh Kumar.
He had entered the premises carrying a guitar bag around 7 pm. A few minutes later, he took out the weapon from the bag and began brandishing it.
Sathiyam news channel claimed that the man had ordered the weapon from an online website six months ago and had waited for a long time to launch an attack on the channel’s director. The car in which the person came had a Gujarat registration number.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, the channel’s managing director, Issac Livingstone, claimed that the attacker is a native of Uppilipalayam near Coimbatore but had moved to Gujarat. Livingstone said the man meant to target him and was now trying to escape from the law by posing as a mentally challenged person.
“Last week our distribution executive had received a call from this person. He had threatened over the phone that he would kill me and demolish Sathyam TV. I received the call recordings and forwarded that to our CEO. On Tuesday, our CEO was about to leave the premises and the parking gates were opened for him. The man was waiting near the gate and entered the premises. He was carrying a guitar bag and people assumed he was a musician, so he was not stopped by anyone.
“Once he reached the reception area, he asked the workers about me and had said he would pierce my chest with the sword and leave after that. The shocked workers didn’t tell him where I was. That agitated him and he began to attack whatever he spotted — TV, telephone, computer, glass table, everything was destroyed. This went on for around 45 minutes until the police arrived and arrested him. The man claimed to the police that he was mentally unstable, which is not true. He had been planning this operation for a long time. He had reached Chennai from New Delhi via road, a mentally challenged person cannot plan all these things so meticulously. He has been remanded, the police said further investigation is going on,” Livingstone said.
The Royapuram police reached the spot and took the assailant to the police station. Following this, a couple of journalist forums, including the Chennai Union of Journalists, have condemned the attack. Bharathi Tamilan, the joint-secretary of the Chennai Press Club, issued a statement where he urged the Tamil Nadu government to enact a law ensuring the safety of journalists and media organisations in the upcoming assembly session.
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