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Odishatv Bureau

Thrissur: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Saturday courted controversy over certain remarks made by him favouring ousted Thiruvananthapuram Press Club secretary, who was accused of moral policing by a woman journalist.

The Union Minister was addressing delegates at the state conference of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) here.

Notably, M Radhakrishnan was removed as secretary of the Press Club recently.

Unhappy with his remarks, a group of women journalists protested as the minister came out of the meeting.

However, Muraleedharan later told the media that he stood by what he had said at the function.

"Nobody stopped me or protested against me. The women journalists only informed me about their disagreement in the matter. There is no need to apologise for the statement.

No one has asked me to apologise. I have not said anything that has to be retracted," Muraleedharan said.

The BJP leader claimed that the kind of reaction towards the complaint against Radhakrishnan was not seen in similar incidents that had taken place earlier.

Radhakrishnan was arrested on the basis of the complaint of alleged moral policing by the woman scribe and was later removed from the post of secretary.

The women scribes, who are members of the Network of Women in Media, Kerala, had also lodged a complaint with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the state Women's Commission, demanding stern action against him.

The woman journalist, in her police complaint, had stated that her male friend had visited her residence on November 30 and soon after he left, Radhakrishnan had barged into her house with some people and allegedly assaulted her.

He also forcibly brought her friend there, questioning why he had visited her so late.

Police had booked him on charges of wrongful confinement, house-trespass and voluntarily causing hurt.

The Kerala Women's Commission also registered a case against Radhakrishnan and some others.

(PTI)

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