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Not Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but one by Biswajit Roy questioned by Bombay HC

Mumbai | The Bombay High Court had questioned Bhima-Koregaon accused Vernon Gonsalves, on why he was reading ‘War and Peace’, and had called it “objectionable”.

However, a clarification has now been issued, that the book in question is not War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but War and Peace Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists by Biswajit Roy.

Yug Chaudhary, an advocate representing another accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, today told the high court that the media has wrongly reported that the court raised questions on the accused keeping a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

“The book found in the punchnama of accused Vernon Gonsalves is War and Peace in Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists by Biswajit Roy. Not War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy,” Yug Chaudhary said.

The judge who was hearing the matter, Justice Sarang Kotwal said that he was “shocked” to learn about this matter.

Clarifying the matter, Justice Kotwal today said he knows Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ is a literary classic and that he didn’t mean to suggest that all the books seized by Pune police in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case were incriminating.

Justice Kotwal said, “You have made your point about the books not being banned. Besides, yesterday, I was reading the whole list from the chargesheet. It was written in such poor handwriting. I know War and Peace (by Leo Tolstoy). I was making a query on the entire list that police has mentioned (as evidence).”

Media reports, including mainstream media and HW News, had reported that the concerned book was Leo Tolstoy.

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