Maran accuses Tamil Nadu cops of witch-hunting TV operators

February 16th, 2008 - 10:06 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS) Former union minister Dayanidhi Maran Saturday accused the Tamil Nadu police of carrying out a witch-hut against the TV operators of his company, Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV). In a complaint addressed to the police commissioner here, Dayanidhi Maran, the estranged nephew of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, alleged that many operators of SCV were arrested and threatened to switch over to business rivals such as Hathway cable network and Datacom Private Ltd.

“My people are calling me frantically since dozens of operators have been arrested without any reason. Their whereabouts are still unknown. I do not understand how the police, who ought to protect people, abuse their powers to blatantly favour our competitors,” he told reporters within the precincts of the city police headquarters after handing over the complaint.

He demanded immediate punitive action against the subordinates of Joint Commissioner of Police Durairaj, who reportedly arrested SCV operators.

The Maran brothers (Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi) had invited the ire of the chief minister following the publication of a survey result that found Dayanidhi more popular than Karunanidhi’s elder son M.K. Azhagiri. The brouhaha resulted in the burning down of the office of Dinakaran, a newspaper owned by the Marans in Madurai, and the murder of three of its staff members.

Subsequently, Dayanidhi Maran quit the union cabinet and a rival TV channel was launched by Karunanidhi.

The state government has also got into the act of creating a cable-TV venture to rival SCV and Sun TV, which still remains a not-starter.

The Maran brothers own a direct-to-home (DTH) network, Sun Direct.

Its rival outfits are now reportedly distributing set-top-boxes free of cost in Chennai, which is well into the conditional access system (CAS) regime.

In the past, SCV had a free-run in the entire state because of its near monopoly in terms of carriage and content.

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