Bloomsbury India on Saturday announced it has withdrawn itself from publishing a book on the Delhi riots of February after there was outrage over a virtual pre-publication launch, which it said was being organised without its knowledge.
The publishing house faced massive backlash online on Friday after a purported advertisement of the book launch on Saturday with BJP leader Kapil Mishra as a guest of honour did the rounds on social media.
There have been allegations that several leaders including Mishra made inflammatory speeches targeting anti-citizenship law protesters before the violence broke out in Northeast Delhi on February 23.
Bloomsbury India issued a statement saying it strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society.
“Bloomsbury India had planned to release Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story in September, a book purportedly giving a factual report on the riots in Delhi in February 2020, based on investigations and interviews conducted by the authors.
“However, in view of very recent events including a virtual pre-publication launch organised without our knowledge by the authors, with participation by parties of whom the publishers would not have approved, we have decided to withdraw publication of the book. Bloomsbury India strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society,” the statement said.
The event went ahead as scheduled. BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav also participated in it. The authors of the book are Sonali Chitalkar, Prerma Malhotra and Monica Arora.
Communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after citizenship law supporters and protesters clashed with each other in the area, leaving 53 people dead and nearly 200 injured. PTI MG