Police have sought video of author Ashis Nandy's controversial comments that people from OBC, SC and ST communities were the "most corrupt" made at the Jaipur Literary Festival even as he left the city skipping rest of the event amid protests demanding his arrest.
"Investigation into the matter is going on. We have sought the video footage of yesterday's session in which he made the remarks and also his clarification to be put on record," additional commissioner of police Girraj Meena said.
"We have been informed by the organisers that Nandy left the city today but proper action will be taken once the initial probe is over," Meena said.
Nandy was to address a session on Hindi English Bhai Bhai at the festival on Sunday morning but failed to turn up as the SC/ST Rajasthan Manch which had filed a police complaint against him held protests. The five-day festival will end on Monday.
According to police sources, the officer, who has been assigned the case, is on leave, an issue raised by the protesters.
When asked if the investigating office is on leave, he said, "The probe is on and I will seek a clarification from the officer if required."
Investigating Officer Sumit Gupta, assistant commissioner of police (Ashok Nagar), did not respond to repeated calls.
Janesh Singh, SHO Ashok Nagar police station, where the FIR was filed against Nandy and the organiser Sanjoy Roy on Saturday evening over the remarks, said that the statements of the complainant and the organiser would be recorded.
Rajpal Meena of the SC/ST Rajasthan Manch, who lodged the complaint, along with his supporters today protested against Nandy and the organiser at Ambedkar circle.
"We are demanding immediate arrest of Nandy for derogatory remarks against STs and the organisers of the festival for allowing him to make the controversial remarks," Meena said.
"It is surprising that the IO is on leave. It gives impression that the police want to protect him but we are not going to sit quiet," he said.
Local activists also protested near the entrance of the venue at the main road and shouted slogans against him.
"It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from OBCs and Scheduled Castes and now increasingly the Scheduled Tribes," Nandy had said participating in a session at the Festival on Saturday.
Hours after he made the remarks, an FIR was lodged with the police against him in Jaipur under Section 506 IPC (criminal intimidation) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes(Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Nandy's comments triggered a storm with BSP chief Mayawati and LJP leader Ram Vilas demanding registration of case under SC/ST Act against Nandy.
Mayawati wanted him to be jailed immediately.
Congress, BJP, JD(U), CPI as also the SC Commission chairman PL Punia condemned the remarks.
While seeking to clarify, Nandy made a flip-flop saying he would apologise if he had been misunderstood.
However, when questioned further, he said, "I don't apologise at all because I hold it very close to my heart. I was, in fact, supporting the cause of those who are marginalised and those who are in minority and those who are oppressed. I have spent all my life supporting their causes and will continue doing it."
He said he actually meant that if people from OBC, SC and ST indulge in corruption, it is "corruption indeed" while those from upper caste can go scotfree.