As Smriti Irani faced criticism for reading out of a pamphlet on goddess Durga allegedly distributed on the JNU campus, a TV news anchor from Kerala was subject to the wrath of alleged pro-hindutva activists, as she received 2000 threat calls, for reading from a pamphlet on Durga produced in parliament by Irani.
Sindhu Sooryakumar is the chief coordinating editor of Asianet News TV, and was moderating a debate on Friday night about celebrating Mahishasur Jayanti being considered as an act of treason, only to be accused of calling Durga a "sex worker", The Indian Express reported.
According to a report in The Indian Express, BJP state secretary V V Rajesh quoted from pamphlets produced by Smriti Irani, which the HRD minister alleged was circulated by JNU students celebrating Mahishasur Jayanti.
On Monday, five people were arrested on basis of a complaint filed by Sooryakumar and according to the Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar, all those arrested were found to have connections with BJP, RSS and fringe groups like Sri Rama Sena, and the callers threatened to beat up and even kill her, with some calling her a sex worker, The News Minute reported.
One nabbed from Thiruvananthapuram said that he got the journalist's number in a WhatsApp group, where a member shared it asking others to call and abuse her, and Three from Kannur were found to be members of Sri Rama Sena, notorious for the Mangalore pub attack in 2009.
Meanwhile Sooryakumar said,
“Most of the abusers called me a prostitute and abused me. Some threatened me while others didn’t even know what the charge was. I got a call this morning from someone asking whether I was Durga. Another person called me sometime ago, saying I had posted something against Durga on Facebook, and that he wanted to abuse me for that.”
If Sindhu Sooryakumar defamed Ma Durga Devi, she should say apology to #Hindu society, otherwise Hindus will decide what to do...Let us see— pratheesh (@keralasivaji) February 28, 2016
Meanwhile BJP's Rajesh assured the journalist that he would assist in investigations, and the party said that they supported freedom of press, and distanced themselves from those abusing the journalist.
But Sooryakumar added, "His party’s leadership still hasn’t disowned the rumour being spread in their circles, all they have done is issue a general statement about freedom of the press.”