Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has said the media should act responsibly while holding programmes in a communally sensitive city like Coimbatore and select the topic and speakers wisely.
Responding to a special call attention motion by members of the Opposition DMK, Congress and others in the State Assembly, he said that the state government respects freedom of expression and the press.
He said the Opposition demand to withdraw the cases filed against Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai, for allegedly attempting to incite tension during a roundtable, would be considered once the investigation was completed.
Palaniswami stood his ground saying while his government respected freedom of expression, it had the duty to prevent incidents that would create communal tension and pose a threat to law and order.
Palaniswami added that the TV discussion also touched upon the “Thoothukudi incidents”. Any debate on the issue, according to him, would create a problem though the law and order situation was normal in Thoothukudi. He said it was also improper to hold a discussion given the ongoing judicial probe into the incident.
He also claimed that the police, when approached on June 4, had advised the channel not to have such a programme in the communally sensitive city as it could result in law and order problems.
Pointing out the reasons mentioned in the FIR filed against the channel and director Ameer, he said that trouble started when film director Ameer, who was among several political leaders participated in the round table on “Are continuous protests for people’s basic needs? Or for political reasons?”, made a controversial remark.