New Delhi: Noted journalist and activist John Dayal, who is also a member of National Integration Council (NIC), and Secretary- General of the All India Christian Council, has sought the police protection following threat to his life and family members from the Hindu radicals.
In his written complaint to Delhi Police commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi, Dayal sought protection and action against the culprits under the various sections of Indian Penal Code who are using social media to instigate people to eliminate him.
He stated in his complaint that: “I regularly receive threats to my life and liberty and live under constant fear. Previously I made complaints to the concerned authorities; however, no action has been taken till date”.
“This campaign of abuse is directed not only at me but at the Christian community in general and there appears to be a deliberate and concerted attempt to prejudice religious harmony and hurt the sentiments of the Christian community and other Indians as well”.
“This campaign of vitriolic abuse, vilification and bigotry reached a crescendo on 12th September, 2015, when a sudden, unprovoked and large scale attack on me and the members of my community was launched on twitter by a large number of people. I am emphasizing with great pain that the abuse in question was directed not only at me but also the larger Christian Community. My personal telephone number was posted on twitter and the world at large was invited to threaten and abuse me on the phone. As soon as my number was released I began receiving threatening and abusive phone calls. I am not able to use my mobile phone now”.
He said the extent of abuse and threats faced by him can be gauged from the fact that within a few hours ‘shame on john dayal’ started trending.
A ‘trend’ indicates that a large number of people are tweeting with the phrase which is trending.
He produced some tweets in his complaint:
“Handles like @smartindianhere @tsukinorayko @vsreeniwas @sarcaism are a few out of many who have shamelessly abused me. @abdullah_0mar’s tweet claimed that I endorse rape.
Direct threats of harm to my life and liberty have been made. People tweeting from handles such as @ajaykamath1981 @dwivedi_ji12 tweeted saying that I must die, with the latter tweeting that the person who shoots me will be a patriot. People tweeting from the handles @damodarshenoy92 @[email protected] incited people to be violent with me”.
He asked the police commissioner to take action under the sections 153(A), 295 (A), 499, 503, 505 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code and other enactments against the miscreants who destroyed his reputation stands destroyed, and put his life is in danger.
While his daughter Karuna John said in her article that she does not wish to wait to write an obituary for John Dayal, his father, an Indian citizen, journalist and minority rights activist.
“I have seen his activism grow each day, and his savings deplete, because he is too voluble, too opinionated, and too unafraid to be employed as a full-time working journalist that he once was. That was his choice to make. He lives by the choice, and makes a living with the spare writing or speaking assignment that comes his way”.
Meanwhile, many groups and individuals voiced concern over the threat to John Dayal and urged right-thinking people to come out in support of him.
Fr Dominic Emmanuel said, “John Dayal has been a thorn in the flesh of the Hindutva forces and the BJP for a long time. They cannot stomach his guts, his brilliancy in counter-arguing their bigoted theories. He has been consistent with his stand and been courageous, fearing only God”.
He said it is unfortunate as to what is happening, should one be surprised with the way these cowards are going about on twitter and social media?
Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences’ Nithiya Sagayam said John Dayal’s voice was not only to protect individuals or collective persons but also organizations, churches, schools etc.