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Police apologize to bookseller
By Jyoti Punwani

Salim SabuwalaThis must be the first time the Mumbai police has apologized in writing without a court order. Salim Sabuwala, lawyers’ clerk and a mobile bookseller, is today the proud owner of a written apology from PN Suryavanshi, senior police inspector of Nirmal Nagar Police Station, for having seized nine of his books as objectionable on a complaint by Madan Trivedi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 27.

The books Namdeo Dhasals award-winning Golpitha, Govind Pansares Shivaji Kon Hota, Prof M M Deshmukhs Shivrajya and Ramdas aani Peshwai, and Sacchi Ramayan, a translation of Periyar Ramaswamys Ramayan-The True Story. It was this book that invited the wrath of the BJP at the Kherwadi Ambedkar Jayanti rally where Salim had put up a pavement stall near a gutter.

When they hauled Salim and his books to the police station, accompanied by angry BJP members, the Nirmal Nagar police could never have imagined that their ambitious attempt at censorship would reach the Mantralaya. Home

Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had to issue a statement promising action against the concerned police officer after movers and shakers such as Nikhil Wagle (whose critique of the Srikrishna Commission Report was also confiscated), filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, veteran Communist party of India Gopal Reddy, Janata Dal (S) secretary Prof Gopal Dukhande, and veteran socialist Mohammed Kharas stormed into the police station while a 400-strong crowd made up of leftists, human rights and Dalit activists held a dharna outside.

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