Progressive writer Yogesh Master was on Sunday attacked by unidentified persons who smeared his face with black oil. The motive behind the act, which took place in Davangere, is yet to be ascertained.
Mr. Master, author of the controversial Kannada novel Dundhi , was in Davangere to attend ‘Lankesh Nenapu’, a programme organised in memory of the late journalist P. Lankesh. The incident took place when Mr. Master was having tea along with some friends at a hotel after attending the programme. Around 10 miscreants on motorbikes smeared black oil on his face, before fleeing the scene.
Recounting the incident, Mr. Master said: “I was drinking tea at a nearby stall when a group of people, who were buying some books, suddenly attacked me with black oil. The gang raised pro-Hindu and right-wing slogans, and threatened to kill me for writing against Hindu Gods. They used foul language and pulled my hair. It was a physical attack that left a deep mental impact.” He said he could easily identify most of the men.
Taking serious exception to the incident, the organisers and participants of the programme including journalist Gauri Lankesh, and CPI State general secretary Siddanagouda Patil, took out a protest march till the police station and filed a complaint.
Ms. Lankesh blamed right-wing forces, including the Sangh Parivar, for the attack. She demanded that a thorough inquiry should be conducted into the matter and stringent action should be initiated against the miscreants. “Apart from arresting the perpetrators of the crime, the conspiracy behind the attack should also be uncovered,” she said.
Davangere Superintendent of Police Bhimashankar Guled said four teams had been formed to conduct an enquiry.