A team of women police personnel escorting ‘Savukku’ Shankar from Coimbatore to Tiruchi on Wednesday.

A team of women police personnel escorting ‘Savukku’ Shankar from Coimbatore to Tiruchi on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Coimbatore City Police on Tuesday registered a case against YouTubers A. Shankar, alias ‘Savukku’ Shankar, and Felix Jerald over alleged derogatory remarks against freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar.

A case was registered based on a complaint lodged by advocate C. Muthu, president of Netaji Ilaignar Sangam–Tamil Nadu with the Race Course police.

The arrest is for Mr. Shankar’s alleged derogatory remarks against the late leader in an interview posted on Mr. Jerald’s YouTube channel Red Pix 24×7 on October 30, 2023. The duo was booked for offences under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and its two sub-sections — 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Wednesday, Mr. Shankar was remanded till May 28 by the Additional Mahila Court in Tiruchi for a case filed by the Tiruchi Cyber Crime police for his alleged derogatory remarks about women police personnel in an interview with Mr. Jerald’s channel.

The court also adjourned to Thursday the hearing on a petition filed by the police seeking Mr. Shankar’s custody for interrogation.

Earlier in the morning, he was taken to the court from the Coimbatore Central Prison, where he is serving judicial remand in a case registered by the Coimbatore city cybercrime police. A team of women police personnel escorted him to Tiruchi. A photo of Mr. Shankar being escorted by them was widely circulated on social media. During the hearing, Mr. Shankar’s advocates claimed that he was assaulted by police while being brought to Tiruchi.

Mr. Shankar told the judge that he was beaten up, and verbally abused by six women police personnel who escorted him. The Judge directed that he be taken to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital for medical examination. When he was produced before the court in the evening, after a medical examination, he identified the six personnel. However, they denied the charges and alleged that he had threatened them. Later, Mr. Shankar was taken to the Lalgudi sub-jail.

Even as Mr. Shankar was escorted to and from the courts, groups of women staged demonstrations, holding placards and raising slogans condemning his statements against women.

‘Torture’ condemned

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Against Custodial Torture has condemned the alleged custodial torture inflicted on Mr. Shankar in the Coimbatore Central Prison, and the arrest of Mr. Jerald.

A release by the forum’s coordinator Thiyagu; secretary M.T. Pandian; and legal advisor Henri Tiphagne, claimed that he was illegally arrested in Delhi and kept in custody before being remanded in judicial custody. The Tamil Nadu police did not adhere to the legal procedures. He was brought to Chennai from Delhi and transported in a van to Tiruchi “with women police abusing him trying to irritate him”, they claimed.

The forum, however, sought proper investigation into the case, but made it clear that Mr. Shankar’s comments against women police cannot be condoned.

Red Pix apologises

Meanwhile, Red Pix Media general manager Jane Felix on Wednesday said in a statement that the channel does not agree with the views of ‘Savukku’ Shankar regarding policewomen, and tendered an apology.

Ms. Felix further said that the controversial video in which Mr. Shankar had made objectionable comments has been turned ‘Private’ and will not be available for public viewing.

Ms. Felix said the comments made in video titled ‘Why Savukku Media is Targeted?’ (April 30, 2024), which featured an interview of Mr. Shankar and Mr. Jerald, belongs to Mr. Shankar alone and does not reflect the views of Red Pix.