Chennai: Sindhu Sooryakumar, an anchor of a Malayalam TV news show, received more than 2,000 abusive calls on her cellphone after she moderated a discussion on Friday night on whether celebrating Mahishasur Jayanti could be considered an act of treason.
According to The Indian Express, the calls were allegedly made by activists and sympathisers of a number of pro-Hindutva groups.
The callers accused the Asianet News anchor of calling Goddess Durga a “sex worker” during the show.
However, the daily alleged that a video of the programme shows BJP state secretary VV Rajesh uttering the words while quoting from pamphlets that he claimed were distributed on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus and later read by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani in Parliament.
The Kerala Police has arrested five people – one from Thiruvananthapuram, three from Kannur - in this regard.
The daily quoted G Sparjan Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram city, as saying: “All of those arrested are connected to BJP, RSS and Hindu groups, including Sri Rama Sena.”
Meanwhile, the journalist told The Indian Express: “I have been getting a call every minute. The main allegation is that I abused Durga, calling her a sex worker.”
“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,” she said.
In a Facebook post, BJP’s Kerala chief Kummanam Rajasekharan wrote that his party “has nothing to do with this issue”.
The Kerala Police is tracing the WhatsApp groups that circulated the personal number of Sindhu Sooryakumar.