The author of Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, Ms. Monika Arora has filed a criminal complaint against Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd. for “deliberately leaking the PDF version” of her book.
The complaint lodged with the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, also names media platforms— The Quint and NewsLaundry apart from journalist Arfa Sherwani, authors Aatish Tasser and William Dalrymple, activist Saket Gokhale, Sociology Professor Nandini Sundar & novelist Meena Kandasamy.
Arora has alleged that Bloomsbury Publishing rescinded their contract without her knowledge and consent and proceeded to leak a PDF version of her book in the public, with an intention to hamper future sales. She has further alleged that the publisher wilfully expunged her work Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, thereby diminishing her goodwill, reputation and standing.
“The Publisher through deliberate and dishonest means attempted to scuttle the Author’s voice, freedom, reputation and goodwill by rescinding from its obligations on the date of the launch,” she said.
Accordingly, she has registered the complaint for the offence of criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief, misappropriation of property Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story under Sections 403, 405, 406, 409, 415, 420, 425, 426 of IPC.
She has alleged that the Publisher was pressurized to withdraw her bookDelhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story by Mr. Aatish Tasser, Mr. William Dalrymple, Mr. Saket Gokhale, Ms. Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Ms. Meena Kandasamy and accordingly, they have been booked for the offences of criminal intimidation and statements creating and promoting enmity, hatred, and ill will between classes under Sections 503, 505, 295A of the IPC.
Ms. Arora has enlisted a number of Tweets made by the abovementioned individuals, criticizing publication of her book by Bloomsbury following which, the publisher withdrew her book while the launch event was live on August 22.
In her complaint she has stated,
“The book was taken down from the Amazon website, by which time it had already become the number one Bestseller in the “Political” category. This left a large number of interested readers high and dry as they were left with no other medium / platform to place their booking orders. Despite the Author’s repeated requests to reconsider its decision, the Publisher refused to budge.
Such unilateral actions of the Publisher put the Author in a precarious position, as despite a successful book launch and a huge demand from readers there was no way to place orders.“
“The Publisher gave in to pressure and intimidating tactics of certain individuals having a despicable agenda who had not even read the contents of the book, and who did not want the book to see the light of the day or let the truth of Delhi riots be shown to the people of India.“