A new Facebook page supporting Reporter channel CEO and journalist MV Nikesh Kumar has been gaining popularity among Malayalis after he was arrested on Monday, 23 March, for allegedly evading service tax.
The Facebook page #WhyISupportNikesh (Why I Support Nikesh) requests the "support and solidarity from the people who stand for independent media and democratic rights."
"The global tendency of corporates taking over influential media institutions is already happening in India, this corporatisation of media is fastly growing in the nation," according to the About section of the viral FB page.
#WhyISupportNikesh, created on Wednesday, 25 March, has gone viral among the Kerala cyber users and has received more than 4,334 likes within two days.
The admins of the viral page have also posted the supporting statements of Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and VS Sunil Kumar, among others.
Nikesh was arrested for evading service taxes amounting to about ₹1.45 crore on revenues he received for advertisements on his channel.
"Our channel's balance sheet has ₹6 crore of bad debt due to delayed payment or non-payment. Therefore, we went to the HC against the authorities who insisted that we should pay tax on the amount that is yet to be collected," Nikesh had responded days after his arrest.