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Two MKU students booked for ‘threatening’ professor

Two brothers, studying fourth year M. Tech. in Film and Electronic Media Studies in Madurai Kamaraj University, are booked on Friday for offences under Information Technology Act and criminal intimidation for allegedly defaming and threatening the department’s head K. Karnamaharajan.

Along with the students R. John Vimal and R. John William, their father D. Rajkumar and cousin R. Jaswanth have also been booked.

John Vimal, with the support of many other students in the department, have raised multiple complaints with the university administration in the recent past alleging irregularities in the functioning of the Centre for Film and Electronic Media Studies (CFEMS) that is offering the course. The course, started by former Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan and touted as the only such course in the country, has run into controversy with allegations that it was being offered without necessary recognition.

From this academic year, MKU suddenly decided to stop enrolling students for the course and instead decided to offer it as a two-year M.Sc. programme, leading to disappointment among present batch of students.

In his complaint, Mr. Karnamaharajan has alleged that the two students were circulating defamatory messages and pictures against him on the social media. He has alleged that the accused threatened to murder him if he did not pay Rs. 20 lakh. Refuting the allegations, John Vimal claimed that it was Mr. Karnamaharajan who offered money if he stopped the complaints. “A couple of weeks back, my family was informed by the police that Mr. Karnamaharajan has filed a complaint. However, I did not know that a FIR has been registered,” he said. He said that though he had filed an online complaint to the police against Mr. Karnamaharajan, no action had been taken yet.

A final year student blamed MKU administration for failing to address the genuine concerns of the students but backing a faculty member to file a police complaint. “Apart from issues about course approval, complaints were raised over issues such as irregularities in use of equipment and lack of proper teaching. Most of it were sent in John Vimal’s name,” he said.

MKU Registrar V. Chinniah could not be reached for a comment. Stating that everything stated in the complaint was true, Mr. Karnamaharajan refused to comment further. A senior official from Nagamalai Pudukottai station said that though they registered a case based on the complaint, they were yet to ascertain veracity of the allegations. On the complaint filed by John Vimal, he said an enquiry was on.

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