Skip to main content

Police acted against me as though I was a dreaded terrorist or a criminal: Top scholar Prof Anand Teltumbde

Counterview Desk
Dr Anand Teltumbde, senior professor and chair, Big Data Analytics, Goa Institute of Management, Goa, is one of the top Indian intellectuals, whose house was raided on August 28 for his alleged involvement in Maoist activities. He has issued a statement on police action against him, pointing towards how draconian laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) are being used to terrorize people into silence by targeting select intellectuals and activists.

Text of the statement:

I had just woken up somewhat late, tired of late night arrival of the flight. Just saw missed calls from Prof Ajit Parulekar, who is a colleague and director of Goa Institute of Management where I work a Senior Professor and Chair, Big Data Analytics. He shocked me by informing that the Pune Police reached the campus and are looking for you. He said he is rushing to the campus and would let me know the developments.
I had come on an official meeting at 10 am and hence I had to rush for it. By the time I was through with the meeting there were spate of calls on phone which was kept on salient mode. By that time all the TV channels were flashing the news of nationwide raids on the houses of activists and intellectuals, and arrests of some of them. I called up my wife who said that our house also was opened and searched, according to the TV reports. She was obviously scared and already booked the tickets for both of us at 3.45 pm.
I asked her to hold on and consulted a lawyer friend, who advised that the house needs to be checked by one of us for whether the police planted any object in the house with an alibi of search. He also suggested that a compliant needed to be filed at the Police station to that effect. As I had some worked planned at Mumbai, I asked my wife to cancel my ticket and to go to Goa. She reached Goa and took the help of a lawyer friend and filed the police complaint.
Later, when I called the director and asked him how the key of the house was given in our absence, he explained that before he reached the campus the police had done everything. They met him and handed over the Panchnama, the scan of which he mailed me through his secretary. He said that he read it and there appears to be nothing in it.
One of my colleagues, Prof Krishna Laddha, senior professor, who happened to meet the police, narrated whatever he knew. The police had threatened the security guard to get the key and asked him to open the door. Prof Krishna asked them that they should wait for the director to come before they opened the door.
They rudely retorted him that the person accompanying them has the authority to issue a search warrant. He informed that the house was opened by the security person. One or two police officials along with security person and a videographer entered the house and came out within four to five minutes and asked the security person to lock the door. There being important meeting in the office, Prof Laddha left and did not know whether the house was opened again.
I spoke with Prof Vishnu, who stayed opposite my house. He narrated similar things but said that the eco clean lady saw some plastic box being taken away from the house.
My wife, after reaching Goa, spoke with security and got the horrific description of the entire process. In the morning hours, a police van accompanied by two police vehicles gate crashed into the campus. They took away all the cell phones of security personnel and disconnected landlines.
They enquired about me and picked up one security person from the main gate for showing the house. At the second gate they repeated the same, taking away all cell phones and disconnecting the phone line, and came over to our house. They threatened the security guard to get the keys. He brought the duplicate keys and the process of opening the house took place as described above.
The entire process is conducted as though I was a dreaded terrorist or a criminal. The police could have enquired with me whatever they wanted to, either by sending a police official or calling me to the Police Station. But the entire intention is to create an atmosphere of terror and project that I had already done some dreaded crime. All my information is in public domain.
I have been a meritorious student all through, passing through prestigious institutes of the country including the hallowed Indian Institute of management (IIM) Ahmedabad. I did my doctorate in Cybernetics and have worked my entire career in corporate sector, rising to be the executive director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation and subsequently managing director and CEO of Petronet India Limited, a holding company in private sector.
Unusually, while living my corporate life, I published over 20 research papers in prestigious journals. After my corporate stint, I was invited to be professor in another hallowed institute of the country, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, where I taught business management courses for more than five years before coming over to Goa Institute of Management in July 2016 as Senior Management. I head institutes Big Data Analytics program, and launched a post-graduation course this year, the first of its kind in the country.
This professional life has been engaging enough but with the intension to contribute towards creating a just society, I have been making my intellectual contributions by way of writing and speaking in the public for more the past three decades. Through this process, I have written 26 books, which are published in India and abroad by prestigious publishing houses such as Zed books, Routledge, and Penguin Random House.
Beside I have written hundreds of articles along with a regular column, ‘Margin Speak’, in the prestigious "Economic and Political Weekly". All my writings get regularly translated and published in most Indian languages and even abroad. Most of these articles are available on the net and all in public domain. I have delivered hundreds of lectures across India and abroad. I was twice invited by US universities for lecture tours. I have been doing this role of public intellectual for all these years, winning me several laurels, awards and honorary doctorates from universities.
I have thus reputation as one of the outstanding scholars in my own field of management; as a professional, I have my reputation as CEO level corporate executive, as a writer, I have reputation of being one of the most sought after authors; as a public intellectual, I have reputation of being one of the most sought after person in the entire country.
I have been an activist since my student days, as a student leader, and later as civil rights activist. In course of time, I got associated with many organizations, none of which advocate violence or do unlawful things. For instance, I am General Secretary, Committee for Protection of Democratic rights, Executive Member, Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations, Presidium Member, Alol India Forum for rights to Education.
Of course, in my role as a public intellectual, I have been critical of the policies of the government, which I voiced in not a superficial way but with scholastic discipline. I am definitely critical of the present regime but unlike many others, fault the entire post-colonial construction of the state for its rise.
As for insinuation of my connection with Bhima-Koregaon or Elgar Parishad, I happened to write a critique of the Bhima Koregaon episode published in The Wire incurring the wrath of many Dalits all over the country. As regards Maoist, I had written books (for instance "Anti-Imperialism and Annihilation of Caste", "Introduction to Ambedkar’s India and Communism", published by Left Word, and "Republic of Caste", published by Navayana), criticizing their practice and reliance on violence.
I, like many other people who have been targeted by people, was not even in the conference. With what stretch of imagination could I have even been suspected to have connection with these things? The entire episode is based on a letter police produced, the authenticity of which is far from established. Many people have already expressed serious doubt about its veracity. And on this basis, the police are targeting summarily all intellectuals in the country. They are misusing the draconian law like UAPA to terrorize people into silence by targeting select intellectuals and activists.
I urge the judiciary to take note of the monumental harassment and torture innocent persons like me is pushed to endure without any iota of wrongdoing on our part.
I also urge the people of my country to judge for themselves from the foregoing whether I deserve the treatment that I made to meet.

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are about 180 units in in the to…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

US Air Force expert smells regional security threat following Chandrayaan mission

Counterview Desk
A United States Air Force expert, writing on India’s Chandrayaan -2 mission, has expressed the apprehension that Indian moon probe’s “failure” won’t stop an Asian space race that “threatens regional security.” Affiliated with the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Wendy Whitman Cobb, who is Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, believes like other space powers, India may be “seeking to improve its technology”, but advances can “also bring greater security concerns.”
Currently, admits Cobb, “These efforts have been primarily civilian and peaceful in nature.” However, India’s turn toward the military uses of space, so much so that lately it has been developing its own military satellites providing services such as remote sensing, tracking and communications “with greater frequency” has begun to “concern” the neighbours.
In her disclosure statement to an article published in the e-journal “The Conversation” Cobb, however, states that whatever…

Historic Chikhalda, temples, mosques submerged, activists 'rescue' Gandhi idol

By Medha Patkar
The first farmer of Asia was born in Chikhalda, if one is to believe archaeological researchers. A historic village, 50 percent of its population is of Hindus and 50 percent of Muslims, yet it has always remained peaceful. Chikhalda has struggled to save water, land and people along Narmada river.

South Gujarat wastewater carrying pipeline damaged, 'harming' farmlands

By Our Representative
The pipeline carrying industrial wastewater to the Gulf of Khambhat from Jhagadia industrial estate in Bharuch district has been found to have damaged for the eighth time over the last one and a half months. The crack, says a local environmental organisation, has occurred at Hansot, endangering agricultural farms.