The recent case of Dalit poet and writer Kanwal Bharti who was earlier this month arrested in charge of his comments on suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal on Facebook yesterday claimed to be death threatened by the Urban Development Minister of Uttar Pradesh Azam Khan has once again targeted the Uttar Pradesh government. It seems the India news is all set and geared up for such allegations, accusations and threatening in the coming season of elections. Kanwal was in Lucknow to attend a function on freedom of expression where he alleged Khan had unleashed a reign of terror in his constituency Rampur. He commented, “Khan is capable to get me killed in the coming few months.” The renowned writer had censured the Uttar Pradesh government on the social networking site with his post after the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti. He was then arrested on August 6 in Rampur for the same on the grounds that it might lead to communal strife but was later released on bail. Even though Bharti was decisive while commenting on Khan on Sunday, he chose to be soft and subtle whereas Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was concerned as per the latest news report. He claimed to have ‘high hopes’ from the youngest Chief Minister of the country. “I have not met the Chief Minister as of now but I am certain of him to protect the right of the citizens in order to express oneself. I still stand by my Facebook post. There was certainly nothing wrong in what I wrote,” said the Dalit poet. Discharging the feedback that his post as politically motivated, Bharti cleared, “I am an apolitical person.” He went on to criticize the state police for charging him an arrest on baseless grounds which ‘could’ have created a communal turbulence. The arrest of the Dalit poet certainly evoked strong criticism from the online community. Headed by Justice HL Gokhale, a Supreme Court bench has also served a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking an answer in the reputed scholar’s catch. The apex court had previously instructed the state government to firmly obey with the union government advisory, evidently stating that a person should not be arrested in such a case without the permission from senior police officials. A son of cobbler, Kanwal Bharti was grown up in the slums of Rampur. The addressee of Dr. Ambedkar National Award (1966) and Bhim Ratna Award (2001), his several poems have also been included in the syllabus of the Post Graduate studies in many national universities.
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