We, the undersigned students and faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, condemn the recent attempts by the Pune Police to arrest the teacher, activist and public intellectual. Dr Anand Teltumbde. Dr. Teltumbde has taught at various universities in the country and has published his academic work widely, including in the Economic and Political Weekly. He is also the General Secretary of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), and presidium member of the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE). He has been a prolific writer and has published twenty-six books, in English and Marathi, which have been read nationally and internationally. His recent publications include Republic of Caste (2018) and the co-edited anthology The Radical in Ambedkar (2018).

Throughout his working career, Teltumbde has advocated the causes of democracy, justice and equality. He has been a vocal supporter of various resistance movements occurring in the country, and has responded to the iniquities surrounding us with his writings, academic activities and activism. It can be said with certainty that his contributions towards the development of critical thinking in India are laudable. As individuals inhabiting a university space, we are indebted to his work.

It is therefore with great apprehension that we consider the recent proceedings that may culminate in his imminent arrest. He has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Pune Police, with regard to his involvement in Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada, Pune on 31st December, 2017 organized by Justice P.B. Sawant, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, and justice B.G. Kolse Patil, an ex-judge of the Bombay high court following the commemoration of the 200th anniversary (1st Jan. 2018) of last Anglo-Maratha battle fought between British and Peshwa Bajirao II on 1st Jan. 1818, which took place at Bhima-Koregaon, Maharashtra (where 500 Mahars fought on the side of British against the Peshwa to end the rule of Peshwai which was Brahmanical in nature). Ten individuals have already been arrested by the state since June 2018, and the police have not been successful in presenting convincing evidence that points to their involvement in any illegal activity. As a point in case, Dr. Teltumbde was not even present at the event. The credibility of the case against him, and the others, has been called into question by various individuals and groups opposing his arrest.

Dr. Teltumbde has opposed, with documentary evidence, all those charges levied against him by the police. Nevertheless, the latter remains in a capacity to detain him under the powers allotted to them by the UAPA. We see this as a suppression of academic freedom, and in the larger sense, also as a deliberate violation of rights and liberties. We stand by Dr. Teltumbde, and demand that all charges against him be dropped, and his arrest withheld, until the Police is able to present convincing evidence.

Arka Chattopadhyay, Faculty, Humanities and Social Science

Prerna Khobragade, Student, MASC, HSS

Ambika Aiyadurai, Faculty, Humanities and Social Sciences

Suhair Killiyath, Student, HSS

Prashant Ingole, Doctoral Candidate, Humanities and Social Sciences

Ajin K Thomas, Student, HSS

Jahnu Bharadwaj, Student, HSS

Shruti Nair, Student, HSS

Noyonika Das, Student, HSS

Jerene George, Doctoral student, HSS

Devduttaa Chakraborty, Student, HSS

Zaphya Jena, Student, HSS

Ayushi Rai, Doctoral Candidate, Humanities and Social Sciences

Jagriti, Student, Doctoral Candidate, Humanities and Social Sciences

Debasmita Ghosh, Student HSS

Camellia Biswas, student, HSS

Vasundhara Krishnan, student.

Amritha Mather, student, MASC

Heisnam Olivia Devi, Student, HSS

Ambhore Siddhi Balu, Student, Mathematics

Prashanti Ganesh, Student, Cog. Sci

S.S.Isaiamudhu, Student, HSS

Rachelle C, Student, Msc Cognitve Science

Gnana Selvam, Student, HSS

Pankaj Tiwari, Student, HSS

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