Anti-CAA Slogans in Jaipur Lit Fest: Police Detains Protesters
On Republic Day, fourth day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, dissent was the buzzword both onstage and offstage.
While many panelists discussed the role of dissent and dialogue during their scheduled sessions, 6-7 anti-CAA protestors began to raise slogans inside the festival venue on 26 January.
In a video, purportedly of the protest, which circulated on social media, the activists are seen shouting slogans like “Modi-Shah ko ek jawab, Inquilab Zindabad”, “CAA down-down”, “Amit Shah ho Barbad, Modi-Yogi Murdabad” and “Hum Lekar Rahege Azadi”.
Shortly afterwards, tweets began to appear with videos of the sloganeering young men being escorted out of Diggi Palace. The sloganeers were handed over to the Rajasthan Police personnel who took them to the Ashok Nagar Police Station. Five sloganeers were detained for interrogation, as per DCP South Jaipur Yogesh Dadhich.
Some tweets suggested that the sloganeers were manhandled by the festival security.
Sanjoy Roy, the head of Teamwork Arts and one of the organisers of the festival denied any such incident of beating up of the sloganeers. Roy told The Quint, “Some young men began to raise slogans and they were escorted out of the venue. Thereafter the police took charge.”
One of the eyewitnesses told The Quint that a crowded venue like Diggi Palace can not afford any ‘disturbances’ because of the presence of thousands of attendees.
All five detainees have been released and no FIR has been registered against them.
‘Not Our Wish to Silence Protests’: JLF Issues Statement
Following the incident, the event organisers issued a statement on Monday, 27 January, saying they had to ask the protesters to leave to ensure that the visitors could enjoy the festival seamlessly.
“Yesterday, while the venue was at full capacity, a few protesters who were not our speakers or invitees had to be asked to leave after they started sloganeering that was impairing the literary sessions, and for which we received complaints from our partners. It is not our wish to silence protests, but to ensure our visitors - students, older people and international guests - can take in the diverse content and knowledge for which the festival is known,” the statement read.
The organisers said that they were “fully committed to ensuring the safety of every guest”.
“(We) have a responsibility and duty to the Diggi Palace family to maintain peace and calm at all times,” they added.
(With inputs from PTI.)