Chidambaram says no action against Arundhati Roy for Kashmir remarks

New Delhi, November 1, 2010

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said no action was planned to be taken by the Delhi Police against writer-activist Arundhati Roy for allegedly making a seditious speech on Jammu and Kashmir at a seminar in the capital last month.

"Not taking any action is also action," he said at a press conference here when asked why no action had been taken against Ms Roy for her speech.

'Section 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)...the letter of the law is deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of the law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance,: he explained.

"The Delhi Police is acting under the letter and the spirt of the law," he said.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been demanding action against Ms Roy and hardline Hurriyet leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for the speeches made by them at the seminar.

Asked about reports about an "attack" by BJP women activists on Ms Roy's residence, Mr Chidambaram said there did not appear to have been any attack. But he said the police would provide her security if a request were made.

NNN

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