Rally in support of Ambedkar’s grandson-in-law held outside Indian Visa and Passport Application Center

Teltumbde

Close to the first anniversary of the arrest of a renowned Indian scholar, members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) held a demonstration in Surrey on Sunday, April 18.

Anand Teltumbde, a well-known author and columnist, was arrested last year on April 14 under trumped up charges for merely questioning the power and standing up for the poor and marginalized.

Teltumbde is known for his critical writings against the repressive policies of the Indian state. He had enraged the supporters of the currently ruling right wing Hindu nationalist government, under which attacks on religious minorities and political opponents have grown.

Ironically, he was arrested on the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R, Ambedkar, an architect of the Indian constitution and an undisputed leader of the so called untouchables, who continue to endure caste-based oppression within the Hindu society.

Teltumbde is married to his granddaughter.

His arrest was part of the design to suppress voices of dissent, and followed the arrests of other scholars across India under draconian laws.

The participants gathered outside the Indian Visa and Passport Application Center holding signs reading “Free Teltumbde” and carrying the pictures of Ambedkar and Teltumbde together.

They also raised slogans against the Indian government and sought the unconditional release of Teltumbde, besides other political prisoners.

Among those present were the IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh, and other members of the group Rakesh Kumar, Tejinder Sharma and Gurpreet Singh.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions, the rally was kept small and brief, while those in attendance wore masks and maintained physical distance.

In the meantime, Punjabi Press Club of British Columbia has passed a resolution in support of Teltumbde. The resolution was passed with a majority vote and asks for his immediate release and describes his arrest as an assault on press freedom.


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