Anti-nuclear activist, SP Udayakumar, has written to the Press Council of India chairperson Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and the News Broadcasters Association, accusing Republic TV of harassing him and his family.
The activist, well known for leading protests against Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam Nuclear Plant, has asked for action against Republic TV reporters who he said are “harassing” and causing ''mental agony'' to his aged parents, wife and children with their continuous queries and visits.
Here is the letter:
MUST READRenowned anti-nuclear & peace activist Dr. S P Udayakumar writes to PCI‘Arnab Goswami & Republic are harassing me & my family’ pic.twitter.com/p3vzX2DSP7— AAP Ka Mehta (@DaaruBaazMehta) June 22, 2017
Interestingly, Republic TV does not come under the purview of the Press Council of India.
It all started after Republic TV on June 20 carried out a ‘sting operation’ against Udayakumar, which allegedly showed that the anti-nuke protests in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu were funded by the Church with foreign donations.
During the sting, Republic's reporter Shweta Kothari, along with her co-reporter Sanjevee, asks him whether he would be willing to accept money from a UK professor in support of his movement.
Here is the sting operation:
As per Republic's version of the story, Udayakumar accepts the offer.
In a news report named 'Republic TV Exposes #ActivismForAPrice' the channel on their website states:
''Udayakumar responded in the affirmative but added that the money should be routed through Indian contacts into his political party's account, promising that it would be used for anti-nuclear protest. He added that there would be no problem if it was sent via cash, but if it had to be sent through a bank transaction, it could not be sent from abroad. He also mentioned how he had received money via a foreign transaction earlier''.
However, Udayakumar has countered all these claims in the letter and stated that he has been wrongly accused:
''I told her [ Shweta Kothari] that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds. So I said she could not donate money from abroad but her parents could do it here in India if she sent the money to them. I also mentioned clearly that I would give proper receipt and the money will be accounted for. I also informed her that we were not interested in getting foreign funds'', the letter reads.
He also added that he had participated in the news channel's panel discussion to clarify what had transpired during the sting, with Goswami being "abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive".
Even after that, he claims his family was ''harassed and hounded'' by reporter Sanjevee and has requested the "anti-people TV" from hurting him and his people.