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Columnist sentenced to six months’ jail for casteist article

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Posted: January 28, 2011 12:25 am

The special Prevention of Atrocities Act court on Thursday convicted a Mumbai-based columnist for making casteist comments in an editorial article written for a Mumbai tabloid in 2006.

Anish Trivedi,a writer and a columnist for Mid-Day,was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 25,000.

The case pertains to an April 30,2006 article in the tabloid in which Trivedi wrote about the “bad condition of government offices” and attributed this to the policy of reservation.

Trivedi’s column entitled ‘Children of a Lesser God’ blamed caste-based reservations as a primary reason for the poor condition of government offices. While a case was registered with the Bhoiwada police station,the police also made the editors of the publication accused in the case. All accused were booked under several sections of the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

However,Judge C K Bedi on Thursday acquitted the editors of the publication,observing that they had no involvement in the case. “The column was derogatory and directly attacked the Dalits. He not only tried to draw parallels between the inefficient government offices and caste reservation,but at several places,he also made distasteful comments that were clearly casteist,” said public prosecutor Shrikant Dukhande.

The prosecution examined five witnesses,two police officers and three Dalit activists,who had filed the complaint against the publication.

A senior editor of Mid-Day said it was inappropriate for the paper to comment on the case.

Trivedi’s lawyer didn’t respond despite repeated attempts to contact him.

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