Goa Writers, a group of over 50 writers from Goa, has expressed shock and deep concern over reports that the Sahitya Akademi award winner Damodar Mauzo has been compelled to accept police protection after a threat to his life.
In a statement here, the group which has a diverse membership that is widely published in English, Konkani, Hindi, Portuguese and other languages, said Goa’s police’s security branch acted promptly after it reported receiving “intelligence inputs about a threat to his life”.
‘However, such a situation should not have been allowed to arise in the first place,” the group said and the writers called for thorough action, in a manner that would ensure such situations do not arise again.
It pointed out that the threat to Mr Mauzo come in the wake of a number of writers and journalists being killed in yet-unresolved cases — including those of editor Gauri Lankesh of Bengaluru, rationalist and former Vice Chancellor M M Kalburgi in Dharwad, author Govind Pansare in Mumbai, and the rationalist-author Narendra Dhabolkar of Pune.
In 2017, the Committee to Protect Journalists recorded 20 instances of journalists in India being “threatened, sacked, physically attacked, censored and killed in the line of duty, by violent mobs, police, paramilitary forces simply because they were doing their jobs,” it said.
Governments in Panaji and at New Delhi must take effective action against those who threatened free expression of thought and ideas, a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India, regardless of their political affiliations or ideological connections, the group said.