HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 9th October, regarding the arbitrary arrest of journalist Nakheeran Gopal. Mr. Gopal is the Editor of Nakheeran, a Tamil bi-weekly magazine based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Mr. Gopal has a journalistic experience of over two decades covering sensitive social and political issues.
Mr. Gopal, was arrested around 8AM at the Chennai airport when he was about to board a flight. He has been accused of defaming the Governor and is charged under Section 124 of Indian Penal Code. He has been arrested for carrying out an article in his magazine few weeks ago regarding the alleged scandal involving Tamil Nadu college professor Nirmala Devi, who was arrested in the "sex-for-marks" scam. She has been charged for forcing and luring girl students into offering sexual favours to university officials in return for marks. This case was transferred to the Tamil Nadu Crime Branch – Criminal Investigation Division (CB-CID) In the recent article in Nakheeran, it was claimed that Nirmala Devi had confessed to the CB-CID officers in meeting the Governor of Tamil Nadu Mr. Banwarilal Purohit, who is also chancellor of the university, and R Rajagopal IAS, Secretary of Raj Bhavan, with girl students at Raj Bhavan and other places too. The Governor has denied the allegations and clarified that he never met the accused professor by holding a press meet and also appointed a one-member inquiry commission headed by former IAS officer R Santhanam.
HRDA prayed for thorough investigation and to take immediate actions on the perpetrators of the case.