PULLING OUT THE STOPS: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres led by Madurai Mayor G. Thenmozhi (marked by a circle) at the gates of the offices of Dinakaran and Sun TV in Madurai. DMK Corporation Councillor A. Manickam holds up a burning copy of Dinakaran.

It was initially seen as an internal issue of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu.

But it spilled over into the open and turned out to be a major issue involving the media, when supporters of the party’s strongman in Madurai and a son of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, M.K. Azhagiri, stormed the offices of Sun TV and the Tamil daily Dinakaran in the southern temple town on Wednesday morning.

DEATH AT WORK: The sisters of Vinod, a computer engineer, who died in the violence, grieve.


It was a protest against an opinion poll published in Dinakaran on the succession issue in the DMK, in which Local Administration Minister and heir-apparent M.K. Stalin won hands down.

But his elder brother, Mr. Azhagiri, was obviously not happy with it and his supporters gave vent to their wrath.
After burning copies of the Tamil daily, some of the angry protestors entered the premises of the building housing both the media outlets and went on the rampage.

Battle zone

It was a battle zone. Smoke belched out of the building followed by huge columns of fire.

SHOCKED PROTEST: Sun TV Network employees stage a road roko on the Madurai-Melur Highway with the body of a security guard who died in the violence at their office.The staff in the complex came rushing out, shouting for help — which was not forthcoming.

By noon, the damage was done. Initially, the Dinakaran staff came out in protest. Soon this spread to other centres in the State.

REMAINS OF THE DAY: Kalanidhi Maran, Chairman and Managing Director of the Sun TV Network, looking at the damage.


There has been widespread condemnation of the attack on the media and demands for immediate and stern action against “all those responsible for Wednesday’s violence.”