The authors of Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story — Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra – have lodged a complaint for the commission of offences of criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief, misappropriation of property against Bloomsbury Publications India Pvt Ltd, news portals — Newslaundry, The Quint and activists – Nandini Sundar, Aatish Taseer, William Dalrymple, Saket Gokhale, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Meena Kandasamy and other unknown persons.
The three authors met the Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava at Police Headquarters, New Delhi this afternoon as they had been upset over the intimidation and violation of their right of freedom of expression since August 22, 2020. They also informed the Commissioner of Police of the happenings related to their book.
The authors had visited the riot-affected areas of North-East Delhi during February-March 2020 and prepared a ground report as a part of the Fact-Finding Team of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA). The report was submitted to the MoS Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy on March 11, 2020. They then decided to bring out a book on the same as they realised the revelations must reach a wider audience.
The authors approached Bloomsbury Publications India Pvt Ltd for the publication of the book and shared its manuscript, after which the publisher signed an MoU to publish it. The manuscript went through routine screening processes of the publisher’s editorial, legal and sale/ marketing teams. Meanwhile, the manuscript went through multiple drafts as per the suggestions and comments of the publisher and its team of experts. Finally, the publisher approved the final draft and the book was published. The copies were delivered to the authors’ homes too. The publisher even shared the link of the book for pre-booking at Amazon, an e-commerce website, and it soon became the #1 bestseller in the category.
However, immediately before the scheduled web-launch programme of the book by the authors on August 22, 2020, the publisher, through a telephone call, informed the authors that Bloomsbury Publications India Pvt Ltd had withdrawn from the book due to pressure by a vocal group of twitterrati. A section of people had pressurised Bloomsbury UK to take the withdrawal decision which, in turn, conveyed the same to its Indian counterpart.
The authors have lodged their complaint under Sections 403, 405, 406, 409, 415, 420, 425, 426, of IPC, 1860; Illegal Receipt and Retention of Stolen Property under Sections 379, 410, 411 of IPC, 1860 read with Section 72 of Information Technology Act, 2000; Criminal intimidation and statements creating and promoting enmity between classes under Sections 503, 505, 295A of IPC, 1860; Infringement of Copyright under Section 63 and 69 of the Copyright Act, 1957.
Click Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story for a detailed story on the book.