FIR filed against former BJP MLA, poet for vulgar writing

Panaji, Oct 17
Police in South Goa on Tuesday filed an FIR against a former BJP MLA and a publisher for "vulgar" content in a controversial book of poems, which was until last week in the reckoning for a state award for literature.

Speaking to reporters, Superintendent of Police (South Goa) Arvind Gawas confirmed the registration of FIR on Tuesday against the author, Vishnu Wagh, and publisher Hema Naik of Apurbai Prakashan, a local publishing house, which in 2013 released the controversial book 'Sudhir Sukta'.

"An FIR has been filed for use of vulgar language in the book. We are investigating," Gawas said.

The FIR has been filed under sections 293, 292 of the Indian Penal Code and section 4 of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986, following a complaint by a women's rights activist Auda Viegas.

'Sudhir Sukta' is a collection of poems penned by Wagh, a former BJP MLA from St. Andre constituency, which takes graphic and at times, raunchy pot shots at the state's influential Goud Saraswat Brahmin community and brings to fore faultlines in Goa's relatively insidious, but omnipresent caste hierarchy.

The book was incidentally released by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2013, who also hails from the same community.

Publisher Hema Naik said she was unaware of the FIR filed against her.

"We will have to fight it. But as of now I have not been informed about the FIR," Naik said.

Wagh, a prolific award winning writer, poet is currently recuperating following a massive heart attack last year and is unable to communicate.

The controversy began after a jury member of a panel appointed to shortlist winners of a state award, protested the shortlisting of the book for the Goa Konkani Academy award claiming it was vulgar and targeted a particular community.

Last week, the state government cancelled over 20 literature awards, including the one 'Sudhir Sukta' was selected for, citing irregularities in selection processes.

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