Joint Trade Union Call : Drop the false charges against Prof. Anand Teltumbde Immediately

We stand together to strongly condemn the baseless allegations and defamatory and concocted charges pressed against Prof. Anand Teltumbde by the Pune police, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA), to wrongly frame him in the Bhima Koregaon case and to accuse him for plotting the assassination of the Prime Minister.

The police forces of the State of Maharashtra led a witch hunt of human rights activists, poets, teachers, lawyers and trade union leaders on 28 August 2018 across several locations in the country. It has viciously attacked those who fight for the rights of the working class, Dalits and the poor and marginalised and raise their voice against state repression. The residence of Prof. Teltumbde was raided and searched on the 28th of August, without warrant, without his knowledge and when no one was home. The evidence produced by the police against him are four emails which have been recovered from an electronic device of a third party and bear no electronic signature or other identification details.This third party whose identity hereto remain unknown is not named in any FIR. These emails are the only evidence against Prof Teltumbde and form the backbone of the case against him. They were released to the media on 31 August 2018, just three days after the raids. These letters are prima facie fake and have been countered by Prof. Teltumbde with substantiated evidence in the Bombay High Court.

Prof. Teltumbde is a scholar whose work on caste and class finds resonance among readers and thinkers across the globe. He is currently senior professor at Goa Institute of Management before which he was at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. Prof Teltumbde’s life as a teacher comes at the culmination of a distinguished career in the country’s public sector.

The judiciary has unfortunately allowed itself to be misled by the police. This is despite the substantive dissenting in Supreme Court of India judgement of Mr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in Prof. Romila Thapar and others versus the Union of India. The actions of the police under the direction of the BJP, which is in government both at the centre and in the state of Maharashta, against Prof Teltumbde is a concerted effort to suppress dissenting voices. Prof Teltumbde has been a consistent critique of all forms of castesim and communalism and therefore has been eloquently opposed to the efforts of the BJP to divide people along caste and religious lines. The indifference and apathy of the Supreme Court of India towards the violation of basic human rights of the arrestees and those who are being targeted by the police in Bhima Koregaon case, while the real perpetrators of violence, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote roam free and whose cases the police has stopped pursuing, exposes the nexus of the ruling party, the judiciary and the police.

We come together to stand in solidarity with Prof. Teltumbde and all those against whom the police have concocted charges under draconian laws such as UAPA.

We demand:

  • That the malicious cases against Anand Teltumbde and all those who have been falsely incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon be immediately withdrawn.
  • That the police issue an unconditional apology for the trial by media by releasing fabricated evidence in the public domain.
  • The police pursue the FIR No. 01/2018 lodged at the Pimpri Police Station, Pune in which Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence have been named and accordingly an application for cancelling bail to Milind Ekbote be made immediately.
  • The UAPA, the National Security Act, 1980 and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimne Act, 1999 that violate the basic human rights of citizens be repealed.

Rajiv Dimri

General Secretary

Sukumar Damle

Secretary

Aparna

President

Gautam Mody

General Secretary

AICCTU

AITUC

IFTU

NTUI

aicctu@gmail.com

aituchq@gmail.com

iftudc@gmail.com

secretariat@ntui.org.in