No violation of Sati Act, say police

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Efforts on Tuesday by various women's organisations and activist groups to get a complaint of glorification of sati registered against the author and the publisher of a controversial book failed when the police refused to take cognizance of any violation of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.

The activist groups remained at the Ashok Nagar police station here for about three hours in their attempt to get the case registered. The Station House Officer, Rajendra Sharma, reportedly denied any kind of glorification involved in the book, "Rajasthan ke Lok Devi-Devta,'' released by the Devasthan Minister, Usha Punia, at a press conference here the other day.

The activists represented the Rajasthan People's Union For Civil Liberties, the Women's Rehabilitation Group, National Federation of Indian Women, All India Progressive Women's Association and National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, among others.

They were later asked by the Additional Superintendent of police, Sangram Rathore, to leave the complaint with the police.

In their complaint, the groups charged the author of the book, Mahendra Bhanawat, the publisher, Fateh Krishna Kalla, and the Minister, Ms. Punia, with glorification of sati under Section 5 of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act. "What all the police could promise was an enquiry without registering an FIR and, if `needed', necessary action thereafter,'' Nisha Siddu of NFIW informed. "They have been selling the book since 2004 but things came to light only the other day when it was distributed to newspersons at the Minister's press conference,'' she said.

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