Monday, April 12, 2010

Complaint filed against Arundhaty Roy over Maoist essay

Express news service Posted online: Monday , Apr 12, 2010 at 0955 hrs

Raipur : Amidst outrage over the brutal killing of 76 security personnel in Bastar, a social worker in Chhattisgarh has lodged a complaint with the police against renowned writer Arundhati Roy, alleging that her recently published 32 page essay “Walking with the comrades” has "glorified” the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and sought to justify its activities.

The complainant, Vishwajit Mitra, has lodged a complaint at the Telibanda police station in the state capital, pointing out that the essay—published in the March 29 issue of a weekly news magazine—its contents and photographs could come under the purview of an offence under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act-2005. He has also sent complaints to the State Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh and Director General of Police Vishwaranjan, demanding legal action against Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize winner.

Confirming receipt of the complaint against Arundhaty Roy, police said “We are examining it to find out whether any offence has been committed”. They refused to elaborate.

The complainant, Vishwajit Mitra, told The Indian Express that Arundhati’s essay had sought to not only “glorify” the Maoists but also denigrate the country’s established system, including the judiciary. “Referring to a Maoist ‘Jan adalat’, she says in her essay that “in most jan adalats, at least the collective is physically present to make a decision. It’s not made by judges who’ve lost touch with ordinary life”, he pointed out, alleging that the writer also sought to justify Maoist other activities.

“Let the police investigate into my complaint and take a position. I am also keeping my options open to move the appropriate court to initiate legal action against the writer”, he said.

Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act-2005, which is in force in Chhattisgarh, is alleged to be a draconian law that empowers the police to detain anyone in jail for a longer period. Human Rights activist Dr Binayak Sen was in jail for nearly two years after his arrest on the charges of having links with the Maoists. He was released after the Supreme Court granted him bail. The case is still progressing in the trial court.

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