Various Ambedkarite organisations have come together to demand that charges against Anand Teltumbde, who has been named an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, be dropped immediately as they were “fabricated”. Teltumbde is a professor at the Goa Institute of Management.
The organisations have issued a statement, days after the Supreme Court rejected Teltumbde’s appeal to quash the FIR filed by Pune City Police against him.
However, the apex court did grant him protection from arrest for four weeks, during which Teltumbde will be able to seek bail from a trial court.
The organisations that have issued the statement include the chapters of Ambedkar International Mission in India, USA, Australia, Canada, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, along with the Ambedkar Association of North America, USA Ambedkar International Centre, Boston Study Group and Ambedkarite Buddhist Association of Texas, among others.
“We, the undersigned, demand the immediate withdrawal of the fabricated charges by the Pune police against Dr. Anand Teltumbde, senior professor and Chair, Big Data Analytics at the Goa Institute of Management. Dr Teltumbde is one of India’s leading contemporary public intellectuals and an internationally known scholar…Over his long career, Dr Teltumbde has consistently been on the side of social justice, democracy, and the Indian Constitution,” stated the organisations.
The statement read, “It is preposterous that Dr Teltumbde is facing imminent arrest under the undemocratic Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), based on a fabricated case filed by the Pune police in India, under which ten other eminent persons, including human rights activists, lawyers, and public intellectuals, are already under arrest… each of the so-called charges by the Pune police has been refuted with documentary proof by Dr Teltumbde. Notwithstanding this proof, the false charges have continued in a concerted campaign to intimidate and silence Dr Teltumbde. As is very well known, under the UAPA, these fabrications are enough to detain Dr Teltumbde. We cannot accept such ‘detention without trial’. We, therefore, demand that all charges against Dr Teltumbde be dropped immediately and that justice prevail on the side of truth.”
Pune City Police has said that organisers of Elgaar Parishad, a one-day conference held in Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017, have Maoist links.
Police have claimed speeches at the event “triggered” violence at Koregaon Bhima the next day, January 1.
The FIR in the case has named 22 accused, including Milind Teltumbde, an alleged Maoist operative and the brother of Anand Teltumbde.
Last year, Pune City Police had arrested several prominent activists from across India in connection with the case.