The Tamil Nadu police has registered an FIR against three journalists after they reported of witnessing a 'mysterious explosion' in the ISRO campus in Tirunelveli. A number of television channels aired clips that showed visuals of smoke rising from the location of the ISRO campus.
The police have denied any such incident at or near the high-security complex.
Meanwhile, the Central Industrial Security Force guarding the ISRO facility filed a complaint against the journalist for 'spreading rumours'.
Tirunelveli SP P Arun Sakthi Kumar told Times Of India that it was a piece of limestone rock that had slipped from Kurava Malai, a hillock about 15km from the ISRO unit. "Since there was limestone dust on the slope, the slipping rock resulted in a cloud of dust," he said.
The journalists have been booked under sections of 505 (Statements conducting to public mischief), 507 (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and 67 of the Indian Penal Code, reports The Newsminute.
Two of the journalists Nagarajan and Raja Krishna, work for Puthiya Thalaimurai. The third journalist, Antony Jagan works for Dinakaran.
The Chennai Press Club has condemned the incident, calling the police's reaction to the news as a 'threat to press freedom'. "If the news is wrong, the organisation could have denied it. But in what seems like a way to intimidate the press, a complaint has been given and a case has been filed as such by the police. This is being seen as a threat to press freedom," they said in a statement.
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