Author Arundhati Roy Faces Prosecution for Alleged Provocative Speeches

New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena has accorded sanction for the prosecution of author Arundhati Roy and a former Kashmiri professor in a 2010 case related to provocative speeches allegedly made at a conference here, Raj Niwas officials said on Tuesday.

The FIR against Roy and former professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain was registered following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, they said.

“L-G V.K. Saxena noted that prima facie a case is made out against Roy and Dr Hussain, former Professor, International Law, Central University of Kashmir,” a Raj Niwas official said on Tuesday.

The official said the two were charged under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), and 505 (public mischief through statements) of the Indian Penal Code.

Two other accused -- Kashmiri separatist leader Sayed Ali Shah Geelani and a Delhi University lecturer Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in Parliament attack case on technical grounds -- died in the meantime.

Besides Roy, Hussain, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who was also Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, and SAR Geelani, others present on the occasion included Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

Sushil Pandit, a social activist from Kashmir, had filed a complaint on October 28, 2010 at the Tilak Marg Police Station alleging that several people made “provocative speeches” at a conference organised by the committee for release of political prisoners under the banner 'Azadi - The Only Way' on October 21.

Pandit had alleged that participants at the conference discussed and propagated “Separation of Kashmir from India.”

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