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600 US, Europe scholars ask India to end witch-hunt against Anand Teltumbde

Admired by many as an organic intellectual of the Dalit community, his writings have contributed immensely to critical debates on democracy, globalisation and social justice, the statement said

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde
File photo of Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde

Coming out in support of scholar more than 600 scholars from top US and European universities have issued a joint statement urging the governments of and to bring the alleged "witch-hunt" to an immediate halt.

Protesting against the "false allegations" against Teltumbde, the statement issued on Wednesday "strongly" condemned the threat of Teltumbde's imminent arrest calling him distinguished scholar, civil rights activist, and one of India's leading intellectuals.

Admired by many as an organic intellectual of the community, his writings have contributed immensely to critical debates on democracy, globalisation and social justice, the statement said.

"Teltumbde's house was illegally searched by the police on August 28, 2018," the statement said issued by Indian Civil Watch (ICW), a collective of scholars from major Universities like Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Oxford and the among others.

"The state and central governments then acted in concert to concoct manifestly baseless charges against Dr. Teltumbde, and have threatened him with arrest under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) Act, a that allows the state to suspend a citizen's right to a fair trial and detain him or her indefinitely," it added.

"Such dangerous allegations against one of India's leading and most prolific public intellectuals is a grave attack on democracy and civil liberties, and urgent redress is necessary," it said further.

Prominent among those who have signed the petition, include of Yale, and of Harvard, and of UCLA, Mriganka Sur of MIT, and of the

"The 600 odd signatures came in like an avalanche over 72 hours," said Prof. Raja Swamy, for ICW, the based group that initiated the petition.

Among the reputed scholars who have signed the statement include Partha Chatterjee and Akeel Bilgrami of Columbia University, of Stanford, and of New York University, and and of to name a few.

"The depth of support among South Asianists for Dr. Teltumbde and the Bhima Koregaon 12 is indicative of the sense of alarm and concern over the government's abuse of law and order to target the most dedicated civil rights activists and gifted intellectuals of Indian society," said of the at Amherst.

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 07:30 IST
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