Gwalior: A day after detaining Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader for selling a booklet in Gwalior on the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of Jammu & Kashmir, the city police booked him under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code on Wednesday evening.
The 32-page booklet was being sold on the sidelines of a protest organised by the Minority Wing of the Left party -- Muslim Adhikar Manch -- to clean the Sagartaal ahead of Muharram and Ganesh Puja.
The Padav Police station in-charge Prashant Kumar Yadav detained Sheikh Abdul Ghani, 73, a retired BSNL officer and member of District CPI (M) committee, who was selling the book after a tweet from Lokendra Parashar, Madhya Pradesh BJP Media Incharge and Editor of Gwalior Hindi daily, Swadesh.
Parashar Tweeted, “At Gwalior’s Phulbhag Chouraha, an objectionable book based on Article 370 is being sold. I urge the district administration and Government to launch a probe and take action.”
Soon after, police had arrested the Left leader.
The book titled, ‘Dhara 370: Setu ya Surang’ was written by CPI (M) State chief Jaswinder Singh, to highlight the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of J&K,a and how the federal structure was being destroyed by the Union government.
The booklet also has a write-up by CPI (M) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury, on his recent visit to Kashmir.
The booklet, published by the Bhopal-based Lokjatan Publication, is also reportedly critical of the mainstream television media in the country, describing them as “vultures with camera” and accusing them of “bleeding Kashmir people.”
The cost of book is only Rs 10 and in last one week more than 15,000 copies have been sold, said the writer of book Jaswinder Singh.
The Pandav police in-charge Prashant Kumar Yadav, released Ghani, when CPI(M) leaders and workers reached police station after 2-3 hours to know the reason of detention.
“Police interrogated me about the book I was selling. I simply put the book in front of the officer. After reading couple of pages, he started laughing and released me after couple of hours.” Said Ghani.
However, in an earlier conversation with the Newsclick, Town Inspector of Pandav police station, Prashant Kumar Yadav said, “We had detained Ghani to interrogate about the book after a tip off on “objectionable” content. But the book is being sold across the state, Ghani was doing nothing different and nothing is objectionable in it. No case has been registered against him.”
But, the same evening, Yadav booked,Ghani under Section 153A (promoting enmity between the groups), citing pressure.
Commenting on the issue, Jaswinder Singh said, “Nothing is objectionable in the book. The book describes the history of article 370 and 35A and how it’s matter to J&K. And how its unlawfully struck down by the Union Government by undermining the federal structure of India.”
“After publication, I have gifted the book to MP chief minister Kamal Nath and senior leader and ministers but no one found it objectionable, except the BJP media in-charge and Gwalior SP, who ordered to register FIR,” Jaswinder he claimed.
Another senior CPI(M) leader Badal Saroj said that his party opposed the unconstitutional abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the J&K in Parliament, “and when we wrote a book on it and started selling it, it becomes a crime in a Congress- ruled state. This is not only shocking but shameful.”