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News website founder arrested in Coimbatore for publishing 'provocative' reports on alleged government corruption

D Andrew Sam Raja Pandian, the founder of SimpliCity, was arrested late Thursday night.

By NL Team

Published on :

D Andrew Sam Raja Pandian, the founder of SimpliCity, a news portal, was arrested in Coimbatore in connection with SimpliCity publishing news reports on alleged corruption by employees of the Public Distribution System.

Pandian was arrested late on Thursday night.

The Hindu reports: "The action followed a complaint from an official of the Coimbatore Corporation who alleged that the reports were 'false' and 'provocative' against the State Government. He was arrested for offences under Sections 188, 505 (i) of the IPC and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act."

The official in question is M Sundararajan, assistant commissioner, personal administration, at the Coimbatore corporation. Sundararajan filed a complaint on Wednesday. The two SimpliCity reports, The Hindu said, were on government healthcare workers "struggling for food", and how PDS employees "were stealing Covid relief fund meant for the poor".

In his complaint, Sundararajan "alleged that such reports were provocative enough to turn healthcare professionals and PDS employees against the Government. He also alleged that they could also lead healthcare professionals to stop working, thus affecting Covid-19 management in the State. Also, distributions of aids and essentials to the public would be affected if PDS employees stopped working, he alleged in the complaint."

Pandian was questioned alongside a SimpliCity reporter and photographer. The other two were let off after 10 hours of question, while Pandian was arrested, produced before a magistrate, and remanded to judicial custody.

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