Kadakkal police arrested six people in connection with mobbing and threatening poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar here on Monday night.
Mr. Sreekumar was verbally abused and jostled while on his way back from a cultural event organised a local library in Kottukal.
In his speech, the poet had allegedly criticised right-wing activists in the wake of the Vadayampady issue where a wall was erected against Dalits. Enraged by his address, a group of individuals, allegedly RSS workers, surrounded the poet when he was about to leave. It was the organisers of the function who rushed to his rescue and later, he filed a complaint at Kadakkal police station.
The 62-year-old poet said that the miscreants surrounded him with the intention of attacking him physically, but the timely intervention of panchayat officials and library employees prevented that.
After the case was registered against a group of around15 people, BJP district committee member S. Vijayan filed a petition to the Kadakkal Circle Inspector saying Mr. Sreekumar’s remarks were highly provocative. In the complaint seeking legal action against the poet, he alleged Mr. Sreekumar tried to cause communal disharmony through his speech.
Meanwhile, the literary fraternity in Kerala came out in support of the poet, expressing their displeasure over the attack on the freedom of expression. Writers like K.R. Meera and K. Sachidanandan posted strong statements while protest marches and meetings are being organised in various parts of the State.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also registered his strong protest over the incident in a Facebook post and ensured that the government will do everything to protect artistic freedom.