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Uproar after TN governor pats senior journalist on cheek

Uproar after TN governor pats senior journalist on cheek

Journalists in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday sought an apology from state Governor Banwarilal Purohit after he sparked a row by patting a senior woman journalist on her cheek when she asked him a question. "I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter".

Chennai: Tamil Nadu's main opposition party DMK and academics of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) are wary of the committees formed to probe the scandal, which involves an assistant professor of an Aruppukkottai college.

Purohit behaved "unbecoming of his position" as he was leaving a press conference to speak about a case that involved a professor who allegedly lured students to sexual encounters.

The press conference had just concluded when the journalist Lakshmi Subramanian, who works with the Week, asked the governor a question at the venue of the crowded press conference, when it had nearly ended.

Your action today in touching the cheek of a senior lady reporter who asked you a question at the press meet was patronising at best and a violation of her rights as a woman at worst.

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In reply to a question about the statements of a CPI-M leader that he was being probed for sexual misconduct, Purohit hit back saying: "It is mere nonsense. Mr Purohit.it might be an act of appreciation by you and grandfatherly attitude, but to me you are wrong".

The DMK MLA representing Saidapet said that Banwarilal Purohit had been violating the laws and infringing upon powers. "But, one can't understand how the Chancellor of the varsity, which is the Governor, could initiate action in this regard", Stalin said on Tuesday.

The governor said he had a four-decade period in media and the "pat on cheek" was done with affection and to express his positive reception for her performance as a journalist. Calling it unprofessional behavior, the journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, said it was completely uncalled for to touch a stranger without consent.

The journalists asked the Governor to tender an unconditional apology to the journalist who he patted and also assure them that such an incident will not be repeated. Since he had been posing a threat to the modesty of women in Tamil Nadu, the Governor should be recalled, Subramanian urged.


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