Frontlist News | Delhi riots: Activist Saket Gokhale seeks to meet police chief to give evidence against Kapil Mishra

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Gokhale wrote to police commissioner SN Shrivastava that he wants to submit evidence ‘pertaining to BJP leader Kapil Mishra and his role in instigating the Delhi violence in February’.

NEW DELHI: An activist, who was named in a criminal complaint filed by one of the authors of the controversial book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’, has written to the Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava seeking an appointment to submit a complaint against the book.

Activist Saket Gokhale wrote to Shrivastava that he wants to submit evidence ‘pertaining to BJP leader Kapil Mishra and his role in instigating the Delhi violence in February’, and a complaint against the book and its authors. He expressed also hope that political affiliations would not matter to the police.

This comes after Monika Arora, one of the authors of the book,  filed a complaint against Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd, two news portals, and authors like William Dalrymple and Aatish Taseer, academic Nandini Sundar, and Gokhale.

A controversy has erupted after Mishra, who allegedly played a role in inciting violence against those protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act, was invited as a ‘guest of honour’ for the online launch of the book. Bloomsbury, the original publisher, later withdrew the book and it was published by another publication.

In his letter, Gokhale said that Arora’s complaint was ‘frivolous’ and that justice demands ‘both sides’ be treated equally. “… any complaint with a grievance must communicate it orally or in writing to the SHO of their nearest police station. There is literally no provision in the CrPC for submitting a complaint directly to the Commissioner of Police,” said the letter.

He said Shrivastava’s move to meet the delegation was ‘puzzling’. “But one can safely assume here that you chose to do this because you’re an exceptional officer who is accessible to the general public regardless of who they are,” Gokhale’s letter said.

“I am confident that my associates and I would also be extended the privileges of being able to submit a complaint personally to you as was given to the authors of the book,” it added.

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