No legal action against Arundhati: Chidambaram

Monday, November 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday said no action according to law could be taken against author-activist Arundhati Roy for her alleged seditious speech on Kashmir last month.

“Section 124(A) (related to sedition) of the (Indian Penal Code) IPC is for deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance, Chidambaram told reporters.

He was replying to a question on why Delhi Police had not taken action against Roy who made a speech in the capital in October allegedly advocating secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India during a convention organised by separatist leaders.

According to Chidambaram, Delhi Police was “acting in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law in not arresting or registering a case against the Booker Prize-winning author.

“Not taking action is also action,” the home minister quipped after a reporter asked on the government’s silence over the issue.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been demanding the registration of a case against her and Hurriyat hardliner leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who also spoke at the convention Azaadi - the only way.

Roy alleged that her house was attacked by BJP women activists during their demonstration outside Kautilya Marg residence in Chanakyapuri Sunday.

But the minister said: “I don’t think there was any attack on her residence. If there are specific requests, we will provide her security.”

Filed under: Immigration

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