Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Monday said the media should act responsibly while holding programmes in a communally sensitive city like Coimbatore and select the topic and speakers wisely.
Speaking in the Assembly on the registration of a case against Tamil TV channel Puthia Thalaimurai, he said the media should decide whether a debate should be held in a city where there is a possibility of communal flare-up and where the discussion could affect public order.
Reiterating his government’s priority for free expression and freedom of press, he said the media should decide whether to have speakers who would disturb law and order.
Palaniswami said the channel did not have the necessary police permission to hold a round table discussion in Coimbatore on the topic “Continuous protests – Is it for basic rights? Political reasons”.
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.
However the channel’s Coimbatore correspondent Suresh Kumar gave a letter to the Pelamedu Police Station seeking permission for the programme on June 5, he said.
Silent on whether the police denied the permission in writing to the channel to hold such a programme, he said police security was provided at the venue as leaders from various parties participated in the event.
Trouble started when movie director Ameer made controversial remarks which was opposed by supporters of a party, but the policemen saw that nothing unexpected happened and sent out the leaders safely.
Referring to the demand of some political leaders and media associations to withdraw the case registered against the channel and its Coimbatore correspondent, Palaniswami said a decision will be taken once the police investigation is over.