A top literary body of Maharashtra sought and got police protection for a felicitation programme being organsied for noted author and environmental activist Father Francis Debrito, who has been chosen president of the 93rd Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
Milind Joshi, working president of the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, wrote a letter to the police seeking protection for Thursday's event in the city.
The police have acceded to the request, he said on Wednesday.
The felicitation programme is scheduled to take place at the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad office here.
Joshi said he and president of another literary body Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal Kautikrao Thale Patil have been receiving "abusive and threatening" calls ever since Debrito was chosen president of the 93rd edition of the sahitya sammelan to be held early next year.
The prestigious annual Marathi literary meet is scheduled to be held over three days at Osmanabad in Central Maharashtra from January 10.
"We are felicitating Father Debrito here at the Parishads office and to avoid any untoward incident during the event, as a precaution, we have written a letter to the Pune police seeking protection, said Joshi.
He said the police have assured adequate protection for the programme.
The all-India Marathi literary meet, to be attended by a galaxy of authors, poets and critics, is being held for over nine decades now.
The 77-year-old Christian priest, who hails from Vasai, a distant suburb of Mumbai, has authored several Marathi books.
His book 'Nava Karar', a translation of the New Testament in contemporary context, was honoured with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award.
Debrito, who is also an environmental activist, regularly writes columns in Marathi newspapers.
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