The arrest of a senior journalist of a leading Tamil newspaper over a report about a prostitution case has sparked off a friction between the local media and Kollywood, the Tamil cinema industry.
Journalists on Thursday protested the arrest of B Lenin, News Editor of Dinamalar who was picked up from his office on Wednesday after the cine artistes led by top stars, including Rajnikant, demanded action against the daily for its report.
The newspaper had carried a report, as also photos, with details of a statement purportedly given to police by a TV woman artiste arrested in connection with a prostitution case, naming several actresses of yesteryear, alleging that they ran brothels.
The Madras Union of Journalists, quoting eyewitnesses, said in a statement that police barged into the office of Dinamalar and "dragged away" Lenin without revealing the purpose of his detention.
Police neither furnished search warrant nor an arrest warrant to anyone, it said.
Leaders of the South Indian Film Artistes' Association met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and thanked him for the police action.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Association president R Sarath Kumar said they were ready to hold talks with the newspaper, "...Our stand is very clear. We need the press and the press needs us. But, it should not exceed certain limits of expression in print or visual media."