India

Plot is the vilest by state against citizens: Anand Teltumbde

Mumbai, 04/02/2019: Professor Anand Teltumbde gets emotional during interaction at Mumbai marathi patrakar Sangh on Monday. Prof Teleumbde terms the case against him and others branded urban naxals as the vilest conspiracy conceived since Independence. Photo: Prashant Nakwe / The Hindu.

Mumbai, 04/02/2019: Professor Anand Teltumbde gets emotional during interaction at Mumbai marathi patrakar Sangh on Monday. Prof Teleumbde terms the case against him and others branded urban naxals as the vilest conspiracy conceived since Independence. Photo: Prashant Nakwe / The Hindu.

Anand Teltumbde, a member of the faculty at the Goa Institute of Management and a former MD of Petronet India, on Monday termed the charges against him and his abrupt arrest for several hours by the Pune police on Saturday as part of a larger conspiracy against intellectuals and people fighting for democratic rights.

“This is the vilest post independence plot by the state against its own citizens,” Prof. Teltumbde said during a media interaction organised by the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh on Monday. Prof. Teltumbde, who was arrested at the Mumbai airport by the Pune police on Saturday morning, was released hours later by a Pune special court, which took the police to task for detaining the academic despite a clear Supreme Court directive protecting him from arrest till February 11.

Describing the term ‘urban naxal’ as a bogey created by the authorities to silence those who have the courage to speak against government policies, Prof. Teltumbde said, “There is nothing like urban maoist; the nomenclature is also a deceptive one.”

Prof. Teltumbde has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly being part of a conspiracy that led to the violence at Bhima Koregaon in January 2018.

He said that he had been in Pune for a wedding during the Elgar Parishad, but did not participate in it due to ideological differences. “Their accusation is that the Elgar Parishad led to the violence... despite my being critical of the event, they are accusing me of being part of the program.” he said wryly.

As part of a pan-India crackdown in August, Prof. Teltumbde’s residence in Goa was searched by the Pune police, who arrested poet Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, and activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha on the same day. In June, Pune police had arrested lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, poet Sudhir Dhawale, and activists Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson on the same charges.

Referring to the Bombay High Court’s decision to reject his plea to have the FIR against him quashed, Prof. Teltumbde said the court’s order had given him a ‘jolt’. Subsequently, a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had also refused to quash the FIR but granted Prof. Teltumbde protection from arrest for four weeks to enable him to apply for bail.

After the sessions court in Pune had rejected his plea for ‘anticipatory bail’ on Friday, the Pune police had arrested the academic at around 3.30 a.m. on Saturday.

“It is important that every one of us understands that what happened to me can happen to anyone,” Prof. Teltumbde said. “It is not necessary for you to be associated with any crime,” he asserted, adding that he had faith in the judicial system and the constitution. He moved the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail on Monday.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 3:00:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plot-is-the-vilest-by-state-against-citizens-anand-teltumbde/article26178345.ece