//Bhilwara journalist harassed

Bhilwara journalist harassed

Jaipur: Writer and journalist Bhanwar Meghvanshi, stationed at Bhilwara in Rajasthan, alleged on 10 May that he was oppressed by police and district administration for his new booklet titled Fashiwad ki Ahaten (fascism’s echoes) which was based on the communal situation in the region, especially the riots in the towns of Bhilwara and Mandal on 15 April this year (see MG 127, 1-15 May 2005, p. 10). The booklet, published by Bhilwara’s Diamond India newspaper, is the report based on the investigations by a local PUCL committee into the riots. Meghvanshi belongs to Diamond India. According to him, police also raided the office of his newspaper and confiscted copies.

"Not only the state government machinery but also the Sangh Parivar, especially VHP activists, have been threatening me of dire consequences," Meghvanshi told a press conference organised by the state People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) here.

"I have been warned and compelled to leave the Bhilwara district, and attempts are being made to arrest me", the young writer, who works for PUCL, said.
"I should be given a full protection, and the guilty persons who flared up the communal violence in recently held riot of Mandal be punished", he along with PUCL activists demanded.

Meghvanshi’s booklet was published and released by a local publisher Diamond India on April 30.

Meghvanshi has approached the national Human Rights Commission in Delhi with a complaint saying that during the riots police entered minority houses on the pretext of search but actually beat up people and looted valuables.

Meghvanshi is a former RSS sympathiser who even took part in kar sewa in Ayodhya. He was later disillusioned by the Parivar’s policies and left it. The Parivar has termed him “anti-social”and advocates his social boycot. He is harassed in his locality. Meghvanshi has pleaded with the NHRC to protect his life and properties and to ensure his freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, the state unit of CPI on Apr 25 blamed the BJP government in Rajasthan for flaring up the communal disharmony and protecting the fanatics who indulged in communal clashes in Bhilwara and Sojat recently.

A review of Meghvanshi’s Fashiwad ki ahaten will be published inthe next issue. The 36-page booklet is priced at Rs 25 and may be had from Diamond India, Vill.: Sirdiyas, via Mod ka Nimbaheda, Distt.: Bhilwara, Rajasthan 311026. Tel. 093521-10451; email: [email protected]