New Delhi: A woman Journalist in Chennai felt wronged after Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit patted her on cheek has today tendered an apology to the journalist.
The incident took place yesterday at a press conference in Chennai organized by the Governor to speak on his links with an arrested Tamil Nadu teacher who was picked up on charges for asking his students to perform sexual favours for a senior university official, Indian Express reported.
The woman journalist was shocked with the Governor’s sudden act of appreciation and took to Twitter to calling Purohit’s behavior as “unprofessional”, and “completely uncalled for to touch a stranger without her consent, especially a woman”.
The journalist later sent an email to the Governor expressing her disapproval to the act, which was followed by Governor regretting the incident and tendered an apology through email where he said he only patted her cheek considering her to be his “granddaughter”. “I considered that question to be a good one. Therefore, as an act of appreciation for the question you posed, I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter.”
However the woman journalist was not convinced with his explanation but did say she accepts his apology. Taking to twitter she said, “I accept your apology, even though I am not convinced about your contention that you did it to appreciate a question I asked.”
The woman journalist also said, “Washed my face several times. Still not able to get rid of it. So agitated and angered Mr Governor Banwarilal Purohit. It might be an act of appreciation by you and grandfatherly attitude. But to me you are wrong,” adding the Governor decided to “patronizingly, and without consent, pat me on the cheek as a reply.”
Meanwhile, as many as 200 journalists have written to the Governor, demanding an apology for the harassment the reporter experienced because of him, along with an assurance that he shall not repeat the same and violate the rights of journalists in the future.
The Chennai Press Club have also condemned the Governments act stating it as “unbecoming conduct”.
The press club added such instances will only be emulated by other politicians. The statement read as “Though you may claim take shelter that it was an innocuous gesture from an elderly man, the law says otherwise.”
DMK Working President MK Stalin took to Twitter to call out the Governor’s action saying “It is not only unfortunate, but unbecoming of a person holding a constitutional post.”
Another DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi tweeted “even if the intention is above suspicion, a person who holds a public office has to understand that there is a decorum to it and violating a woman journalist’s personal space does not reflect the dignity or the respect which should be shown to any human being.”