Pune: Six persons have been booked by Gadchiroli police for protesting against the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. All six were booked under Bombay Police Act, section 37 (1) (3) for carrying out the protest.
According to information available with Sakal Times, despite informing the Gadchiroli police to carry out the protest, the protestors were booked for violation of the law.
Mahesh Raut, a social activist based in Gadhchiroli said that some 15 social and political activists informed Gadchiroli police that they would organise a protest in wake of Lankesh’s murder on September 6.
The police reportedly gave the permission for the protest but a week later booked six of the protestors for violating the rules under Bombay Police Act.
Raut said, “We have given an official letter to inform the police and have also received an acknowledgment from them. But a week later we came to know that we have been booked for violating the rules. I think this is the only case in India where people who were protesting against the murder of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh have been charged for protesting.”
“It was a peaceful protest without any loudspeaker. In case if we were doing a large protest using a loudspeaker then we need to have the written permission of police but a small protest gathering doesn’t require any permission, we just have to inform the police about it and we did that,” added Raut.
Amol Marakwar, another protester who was booked said, “I informed the police inspector of Gadchiroli police station in the written format and also received his acknowledgment. But he told us that we cannot protest against the murder of Lankesh and he will book us if we do that.”
Will look into the matter, says Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli division
Mahesh Kopulwar, another protester who was booked for carrying out the protest, said, “We took permission from the police and held a peaceful protest. There were only 15 people during the protest, I just don’t understand that doing a protest against the murder of slain journalist is what kind of violation; I don’t find any kind of violation of any rule in it.”
Sakal Times repeatedly contacted Police Inspector Sanjay Sangre of Gadchiroli to inquire about his refusal to give permission for the protest against the murder of Lankesh, but he was unavailable for comment.
Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, said, “I will look into the matter. Generally it doesn’t happen like that. But if they have done the protest according to the law we will dissolve the charges against them.