Andrew Sam Raja Pandian
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on April 26,2020 regarding the arrest of Mr. Andrew Sam Raja Pandian, a journalist and founder of news portal SimpliCity, on false charges by Coimbatore Police.
On April 23, 2020, an FIR was registered against Mr. Pandian on the basis of a complaint by Mr. M. Sundararajan, Assistant Commissioner, Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation, and he was charged under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a civil servant), 505(1) (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
The complainant alleged that Mr. Pandian’s articles were provocative and created disaffection among healthcare professionals and ration shop employees for the government, and he was arrested and sent to Avinashi Jail. Mr. Pandian’s arrest was a reprisal for his article dated April 14, 2020 titled “No timely and adequate food, allege UG and PG Student Doctors at CMCH Hostel” and other articles on embezzlement and corruption in the public distribution system in Coimbatore district.