Dainik Jagran lit fest faces boycott over Kathua rape fake news

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.”

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