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Cops summon writer over book on Ranjit Singh

By November 13, 2017No Comments

Source : The Tribune

Baldev Singh

Even after announcing to quit writing, there seems to be no end to the troubles of Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer Baldev Singh Sadaknama.

After facing threats and abuses over his latest novel “Suraj Di Akh” four months ago, he has now been summoned by the Rampura police regarding a complaint against him.

Sadaknama, who has penned more than 60 books, is known for his novels on marginalised sections of society like prostitutes, truck drivers etc. He was given Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011 for his novel “Dhahaan Dilli Kingre” based on folk hero Dulla Bhatti. He was also presented Shiromani Sahitkar Award by the state government in 2013.

“Suraj Di Akh”, a novel based on the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, has remained in controversy ever since it was released earlier this year.

Several Sikh radical organisations, including Dal Khalsa, had started a campaign against the writer, besides serving a legal notice on him. Some extreme elements also threatened and abused him on social media and in public.

They claimed that the novel portrayed Maharaja Ranjit Singh in poor light. They have been spearheading a campaign against Sadaknama for the past four months.

Right from the beginning, Sadaknama maintained that the novel was based on “historical facts”. When he continued to face harassment, he wrote a piece in Punjabi Tribune, saying that he would stop writing.

Talking to The Tribune, Sadaknama confirmed that he has been asked by the Rampura city police in Bathinda district to appear before them as they had received a complaint against “Suraj Di Akh”.

He said the complainant had demanded action against him under Section 295-A IPC for deliberately and maliciously outraging religious feelings and beliefs of Sikhs.

Meanwhile, Left-leaning writers and their organisations are looking at the development as another attack on the freedom of expression in Punjab.

“Police interference in such matters is unacceptable. We all stand by Baldev Singh. We won’t allow harassment of respected writers like him,” Amolak Singh, president, Punjab Lok Sabhiyacharak Manch.

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