Move to hunt publisher of Jacob Thomas' book alleged

Jacob Thomas and his book in backdrop

Thrissur:  State police has conducted a raid in the office of Current Books, Thrissur,  the publishers of the service story  'Sraavukalkkoppam Neenthumpol' authored by former director of Vigilance, Jacob Thomas.

In the pendency of the case in court filed by the current vigilance, charging Jacob Thomas with violation of service rules,  two police officials led by Crime Branch SP N Abdul Rasheed arrived at Current for inspection,  said Current Books MD Peppin Thomas and Publication Manager MJ Johny at a news conference.  The raid took place in the first week of June.

The officials who spent nearly four hours at the office,  took statements from the staff who composed the text, the proof reader and editor.  Later a notice was served on the publishers to produce all the correspondence between the author and the publisher.

The notice asked the publisher to report at the  Crime Branch office in Thiruvananthapuram, with copies of the contract with Jacob Thomas,  and account details.

Peppin and Johny said that the police action, taken after six editions of the book had come out since its original release in 2017 May,  amounted to an assault on freedom of expression.

It is highly objectionable that in the technical dispute between the author and the government,  action was turned against the publisher.   There was nothing unlawful in the book such as content leading to unrest or religious disaffection among the people,  and as such the police action constituted denial of the privacy between the author and the publishers,  said writer Sara Joseph who was also present at the press meet.

She added that there was no known case of a writer obtaining prior permission from the government and then writing a book.   The government was trying to gag writers and to insult publishers.  It was wrong to bring the publishers to disrepute in a matter of violation of service rules which was between the government and Jacob Thomas.

Dr K Aravindakshan also attended the press meet.

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