Police finally act on death threats to writers; SP-rank officer to coordinate probe

Vasundhara Bhupathi

Vasundhara Bhupathi

Banjagere Jayaprakash

Banjagere Jayaprakash

B.K. Hariprasad

B.K. Hariprasad

The Karnataka police have appointed a Superintendent of Police (SP)-rank officer to coordinate probe into at least 19 death threat letters that seven writers have received since April, 2022.

The move came after The Hindu reported on how the writers were baffled at police inaction, even refusing to file FIRs when the death threat letters were brought to their notice.

Same author

“It is evident that the same person has been writing these threat letters to all the writers. There were some lapses, though investigations were already underway and now it will be done in a more co-ordinated fashion,” said a senior police officer, who refused to be named.

The letter writer who signs off as “Sahishnu Hindu” (tolerant Hindu) has written 19 death threat letters to seven writers terming their stances “anti-hindu”, including six letters to Kum. Veerabhadrappa and five to Banjagere Jayaprakash. He has listed 61 writers, who signed an open letter to the Chief Minister during the hijab controversy and Leaders of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, H. D. Kumaraswamy and B.K. Hariprasad, as targets in most letters.

Following Home Minister Araga Jnanendra reportedly pulling up the State police over lapses, especially in filing FIRs, police have swung into action and registered an FIR in Basaveshwaranagar based on the complaint by writer Vasundhara Bhupati on Wednesday.

Ms. Bhupati, who had received a death threat letter at her residence on July 2, had lodged a complaint with Basaveshwaranagar police, who refused to file a FIR, but only filed a non-cognizable report. “On Wednesday morning, I got a message on my phone that a FIR has been registered based on my complaint and shortly later, two policemen came to my house and put up a police beat point at my residence and assured of security. Better late than never,” she said. 

Case booked

The Basaveshwaranagar have booked the letter writer under Section 507 of Indian Penal code (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication). Two FIRs had already been registered at the Sanjay Nagar police station based on complaints by former Minister B.T. Lalitha Naik. However, no FIRs have been registered over similar threat letters to other writers in the State, yet. “It is evident that the same person is writing all the letters. The investigation has been streamlined, and we are confident of nabbing the culprit soon,” a senior official said. 

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2022 12:55:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/police-finally-act-on-death-threats-to-writers-sp-rank-officer-to-coordinate-probe/article65636305.ece