Patna, April 21 (IANS) Several poets, writers, theatre activists and journalists have boycotted Hindi daily Dainik Jagran’s literature festival “Bihari Samvadi” on Saturday to protest against its repeatedly publishing a news story claiming the eight-year-old Kathua victim was not raped.
They have also appealed to fellow writers not to participate in the two-day event.
Bihari Samvadi, the first literature festival in Bihar, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here on Saturday.
A Patna-based literary organisation Jan Sanskriti Manch has appealed to people to boycott the event.
“Response to our call is more than expected,” Rajesh Kamal, a Hindi poet and writer, and convenor of Jan Sanskriti Manch, said.
Kamal said it was really disgusting that fake news was being used to change the narrative on a heinous crime.
Noted Hindi poet Alok Dhanwa has boycotted the event, besides Sanjay Kundan, a Hindi poet and author, who said: “I am not attending Bihari Samvadi to express my protest against the fake news published by it.”
Nivedita Shakil, a Hindi poet and journalist, said it was shocking that a newspaper that published a fake news to falsify the Kathua rape case was even organising a literary festival like this here. “I have decided to boycott it.”