A police complaint was filed against writer and playwright Girish Karnad in Bengaluru on Friday for wearing a sign that read “Me Too Urban Naxal”, reported The News Minute. Karnad on Wednesday donned the placard at an event to mark the first death anniversary of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
The complaint, filed by advocate Amruthesh NP, claims that Karnad and his associates have Maoists links and were allegedly involved in the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune in January. It demands that a First Information Report be filed against Karnad for funding the Maoist movement. The complainant, who represents the Hindu Janajgruthi Samiti, is defending in court all the accused in Lankesh’s murder case.
“By posting such a title on his body, Mr Karnad has tried to promote and propagate the violent and criminal activities of Naxalism,” read the complaint. “There is no urban or rural Naxal. I suspect that Girish Karnad is the root cause for the Naxal movement in Karnataka and he is hand-in-glove with Naxals but pretends to bring them into the mainstream.”
Amruthesh NP also named actor Prakash Raj, student activists Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani in his complaint, seeking an inquiry into their alleged involvement in the Maoist movement.
On Wednesday, Karnad had criticised the house arrest of activists who were raided by the Pune police last month in connection with their investigation into the Bhima Koregaon violence. Calling the accusations of promoting Naxalism against activists and rationalists “a complete hogwash”, Karnad had said, “If speaking up means being a Naxal, then I am an Urban Naxal. I am proud to be a part of the hit list.”
The same day, members of the Hindu Janajgruthi Samiti and Sri Rama Sene had held a protest to show their support for those accused in Lankesh’s murder.