The 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan is being held in Maharashtra’s Osmanabad from 10th to 12th of January this year.
There have been some concerning developments in the ongoing event. Initially, the media outlet Mumbai Tarun Bharat (MTB) had published reports critical of the president of the current Sammelan, a Catholic priest named Father Francis D’Britto.
In the latest incident, Somesh Kolge, a journalist with the Marathi vernacular daily-Tarun Bharat has claimed that the Osmanabad police officials tried to arrest him from the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan event held in the town.
According to Kolge, who was at the stall ‘Mumbai Tarun Bharat’ representing his organisation Tarun Bharat, PSI Mane tried to take him away from the stall on the pretext of seeking information about him. However, Kolge resisted Mane’s attempts and asked him to search whatever he wants to at the bookstall.
Interestingly, Mumbai Tarun Bharat had earlier asked questions to Fr D’Britto about his stand on forced conversions and various other issues. They had also published an ‘open letter’ to the priest asking him to clarify some issues.
A video has now emerged wherein Kolge can be seen asking PSI Mane why he was being asked to accompany him for questioning and not questioned at the stall itself. Conscious of the video being shot, Mane appeared placatory in claiming that he was simply seeking information about everyone who has participated in the Sammelan and had no other objective to approach Kolge.
“You asked me to come along with you. You told me I’m PSI Mane and you will have to come with me. I’m a journalist,” Kolge can be seen in the video saying this to PSI Mane. Even the bystanders in the video corroborated Kolge’s assertions that PSI Mane was trying to forcibly take him away.
However, Mane refuted the allegations in the video claiming that he was simply trying to obtain information about people who have participated in the event and asserted that he plans to do the same for other stalls at the Sammelan as well.
In the meantime, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Motichand Rathod, visited the stall. He was accompanied by PSI Mane and other police personnel. Rathod sought information on the books being sold at the stall and then bought some of them.
Earlier, a man was beaten up and his head shaved up for making critical remarks against the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena supporters first reportedly beat him up and then forced him to get his head shaved. Reportedly, the post criticised Thackeray for comparing the action against Jamia Nagar rioters with that of Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919.