Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha has served a legal notice to historian Ramachandra Guha for referring to the ‘Sangh Parivar’ while condemning the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh in an interview to an online portal and in an article to a newspaper. The 5-page legal notice, issued on behalf of BJP Yuva Morcha State Secretary Karunakar Khasale, said “defamatory, baseless and false allegations” were made by Guha in his utterances and writing. The notice accuses Guha of making “false” and “baseless allegations” that are “calculated to tarnish the image and reputation of” the RSS and the BJP.
“Your deliberate, false and calculated statement against our client’s organisation has caused great anguish in the minds thousands of its members and sympathisers,” the notice reads. “Your baseless utterances are also calculated to influence and mislead the on-going investigations of the said incidents. This amounts to illegal interference in the course of justice and is also a grave offence.”
The notice calls on Guha to categorically and clearly apologise publicly and also to communicate the apology directly to Khasale and his organisation within three days, failing which civil and criminal defamation cases will be filed against him. It also cautioned Guha from making such remarks in future. The notice said the communication was being sent by registered post and electronic mail.
In his interview from overseas, Guha had said: “It is very likely that her murderers came from the same Sangh Parivar from which the murderers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi came.”
Guha’s posts on Twitter in response to the notice, read: “Atal Bihari Vajpayee said the answer to a book or article can only be another book or article. But we no longer live in Vajpayee’s India.” He tweeted: “In India today, independent writers and journalists are harassed, persecuted, and even killed. But we shall not be silenced.”