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Posted at: Aug 12, 2017, 1:15 AM; last updated: Aug 12, 2017, 1:15 AM (IST)

Rights group asks hardliners to stop threatening writers

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11

A democratic rights watch group, the Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), today expressed concern over the threats issued to writers in Punjab by hardliners.

Recently, Right-wing Khalistani groups had threatened and used abusive language against Sahitya Akademi award winner Punjabi writer Baldev Singh Sadaknama.

Prof Jagmohan Singh of the AFDR said the legal notice served by the Dal Khalsa to Punjabi writer Baldev Singh Sadaknama was nothing but an act of strengthening oppressive system. He said the Dal Khalsa must remember that sections under which the legal notice was issued were often used by the Indian state to suppress the freedom of expression.

In a press note, Prof Jagmohan Singh and AK Maleri of the AFDR said social media trial and legal notices issued to the writers amounted to suppressing their freedom of expression. They said that a section on social media instead of initiating meaningful debate on works of literature was threatening them with legal cases and personally harming them and demoralising the well-meaning writers also.

Prof Jagmohan Singh said the way writers like Perumal Murugan and Baldev Sadaknama had been forced to abandon their future projects under pressure from Right wing groups was a sad sign for the Indian society.

The AFDR said readers might have numerous questions over Baldev Singh Sadaknama’s historical novel “Suraj Di Aakh” based on Mahraja Ranjit Singh’s life but it was not acceptable to issue “fatwas” against the writer. The AFDR appealed that all the progressive people should raise their voice against the disturbing phenomenon.

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