Thiruvananthapuram: The official organ of Indian Union Muslim League "Chandrika" has expressed regret for publishing a write-up pillorying NSS general secretary in the backdrop of the latter's strident positioning against the Congress-led UDF government.
Alleging that the article had damanged his and the outfit's reputation, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair had yesterday sent a notice to the daily asking its Printer and Editor to apologise or else pay Rs one crore as compensation.
An "explanation" by its Chief Editor carried in the front page of the daily today said it regretted if the write-up caused pain to the NSS or its general secretary.
The daily clarified that the controversial piece that appeared on its Sunday edition was penned by A.P Kunhamu, a guest-columnist, who is a "Left fellow-traveller."
"Neither the Muslim League nor Chandrika has any hate or enmity towards Sukumaran Nair or the NSS... As an institution that has always laid great emphasis on communal harmony, we regret if the write-up has pained the NSS or its General Secretary," it said.
The Editor's explanation, however, said the daily could not agree with the view that Chandrika could not exercise its freedom to criticise political and community leaders in a lighter vein when other media including television channels exercise that right without any restrain.
Reacting to Chandrika's explanation, Nair said the matter was not going to be settled by a mere expression of regret.
"Let us wait for their response to the lawyer's notice we have sent. After that we will decide what to do," he told reporters at the NSS headquarters at Perunna.
The daily, in a weekly column yesterday, carried the piece attacking the NSS stand over recent political issues.
After running down Nair, who has been accusing the Oommen Chandy government of following a policy of communal appeasement, the article said the NSS leader's utterances would only help create communal divisions.
League leaders had already distanced from the write up stating that it did not reflected the party's views.