Kerala Police conducted raids at the office of Malayalam news channel Asianet News in Kozhikode on Sunday, two days after members of the student wing of the ruling CPI(M) barged into the channel office in Kochi. The raids that lasted for nearly four hours were carried out on the basis of a complaint filed by Left independent MLA P.V. Anvar.
Anvar in his complaint filed at Vellayil Police station in Kozhikode had alleged that the channel had used "a mock video" while reporting the issue of drug and sexual abuse of a young girl in Kerala.
Asianet News Chairman Rajesh Karla said attempts to browbeat the channel would fail and that the news group would take legal action against the police action.
Both the Congress and the BJP have condemned the police raids at the channel office. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was following the footsteps of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in intimidating media houses.
“Media is harassed and threatened if news against CM or government is telecast. This is murder of democracy," he said.
On Friday, a group of Students' Federation of India (SFI) activists trespassed into the channel's office in Kochi and allegedly threatened the staff over the report about the sexual assault of a girl. A case was later registered against 30 SFI activists on the basis of a complaint lodged by the channel.
Journalists' bodies condemned the incident terming it as another example of the growing attacks against media organisations in the country.