New Delhi, Oct 23: Following a protest march by eminent writers in New Delhi on Friday, demanding the Sahitya Akademi to speak up against the atrocities committed against rationalists, Dalits and Muslims; the Sahitya Akademi reacted finally by breaking its silence. Releasing its first official statement after the murder of literary scholar MM Kalburgi, the academy expressed regret and demanded the dissidents to rejoin the organization and accept their honours.Also Read - Kabir Singh Writers Siddharth-Garima Speak on Need of Feminist Writing, And a Nepotism-Free Industry | Interview

In an emergency meeting called by the Akademi, it was decided to pacify the writers and urge them to reclaim their awards.  “We all condemn the killing of MM Kalburgi. An appeal is being made to writers who have returned awards should take them back and people who have resigned should join back,” said Akademi board member K Nachimuthu. (ALSO READ: Sahitya Akademi award recipients continue to return honour; government calls protest ‘politically motivated’ – 10 developments) Also Read - Karnataka Police Tells Supreme Court That's There Connection Between Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi Murder Cases

Earlier in the day, writers from across the nation assembled in the national capital and staged a demonstration from Sri Ram Center at Safdar Hashmi Marg to the Sahitya Akademi building, where they submitted a memorandum to the Akademi demanding that it pass a resolution pledging to take stern steps to safeguard the freedom of speech and right to dissent of the writers. Also Read - India's First-Ever Govt-Sponsored 'Transgender Poet's Meet' Organised in Kolkata

In the aftermath of Kalburgi’s murder and the subsequent silence adopted by the Akademi, a number of Kannda writers resigned from the regional unit of literary organization. Hindi poet Uday Prakash was the first literary stalwart whose decision to return the award drew flak to the Akademi. Subsequently, a number of writers, poets and scholars recognized themselves from the honour bestowed upon them by the Sahitya Akademi, alleging the government of providing a free-hand to saffron extremists.