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THREE NEWSPAPER EMPLOYEES KILLED IN ARSON ATTACK

Three employees of a Tamil daily were killed last week during a protest against a survey published in the newspaper, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Firebombs launched on 9 May at the "Dinakaran" newspaper office in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu killed two computer engineers, M. Vind Kumar and G. Gopinath, and a security guard, K. Muthuranalingam. All three employees died of asphyxiation. The building also houses Sun TV and other media outlets.

"Dinakaran" had published an opinion poll that indicated public support for M.K. Stalin to succeed his father, M. Karunanidhi, as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, over his main political rival and elder brother, M.K. Azhagiri. All three belong to the Tamil Nadu state's ruling DMK party.

Journalists have staged demonstrations in several Indian cities in protest against the arson attack and calling for the arrest of Azhagiri, who is believed to be responsible, reports RSF.

According to CPJ, Karunanidhi said he had called for the federal authorities, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to investigate the attack. CPJ says 12 people have been arrested.

Visit these links:
- CPJ: http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/asia/india11may07na.html
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=22086
(15 May 2007)

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