The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the police to provide protection at the offices of Asianet if protests against the Malayalam news channel become violent, reported Bar and Bench.

Asianet News had moved the court seeking protection after activists from the Students’ Federation of India – the student wing of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) – had barged into its office in Ernakulam and threatened staff members on March 3.

They were protesting against a news report shown by the news channel on drug abuse and the sexual assault of minors on November 10.

PV Anvar, an MLA of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), claimed that the channel had made false allegations about the sexual assault of ten school girls based on the statement of a minor in the news report. Asianet has denied the allegations.

Based on his complaint, the Kerala Police carried out searches at the office of Asianet on Sunday.

On Wednesday, Justice N Nagaresh said that the incident has attained political colour and protests are happening against Asianet News.

“It is likely that there will be further protests against the petitioner which may turn violent,” Justice Nagaresh said. “If that be the case, the respondents are bound to give effective protection to the units of the petitioner at Kochi, Kozhikode, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram.”

The court also asked the news channel whether it has received any threats after Friday’s incident.

The counsel representing Asianet told the court that there were telephonic and social media threats subsequent to the incident.