The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president, Prakash Ambedkar, Tuesday said the arrest of activist Anand Teltumbde, the grandson-in-law of Dr B R Ambedkar, on the 129th birth anniversary of the Dalit icon in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case was “shocking”.
“It is a very shocking and unfortunate development. As a mark of protest, I hoisted a black flag at Rajgruha — the residence of Dr B R Ambedkar — at Dadar,” the VBA chief said.
Urging his supporters to not take to the streets, Ambedkar said, “We are not going to politicise the issue. But what is appalling is its timing. At a time when people across the country are reeling under hardships due to COVID-19 lockdown, many wonder if such a development could have been avoided till May 3,” he said. The Prime Minister Tuesday extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3.
The VBA chief also pointed out that the NIA is yet to investigate the involvement of two Hindutva leaders, Milind Ekbote and Manohar Bhide, in connection with the violence at Bhima Koregaon.
Teltumbde surrendered before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at its Cumbala Hill office in south Mumbai on Tuesday. His wife Rama and brother-in-law Prakash Ambedkar had accompanied him to the NIA office. The Supreme Court on March 17 had rejected the pre-arrest bail pleas of Teltumbde and co-accused and civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha and directed them to surrender before the investigating agency.
MLC Kapil Patil, who also accompanied Teltumbde to NIA office, said, “It raises questions on the democratic rights, which is the foundation of our country. What can be more heartbreaking than to see the arrest of Anand Teltumbde on 129th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar.”
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