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NIA summon to top scholar: Frenzied move by insecure regime, say Chomsky, 720 others

By Our Representative

Over 720 signatories, in a solidarity statement with Prof K Satyanarayana, who was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 9 along with senior journalist KV Kurmanath, have said that this is a “fresh round of harassment” of academics and activists by NIA, which is trying to “falsely” implicate them in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The signatories, who include American linguist Prof Noam Chomsky, British economist Barbara Harris-White, India’s top scholars Jan Breman, Susie Tharu, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Prabhat Patnaik, Rajeswari Sunder Rajan and Utsa Patnaik, leading litterateurs K Satchidanandan, Mridula Garg, Geeta Kapur and Gita Hariharan, artists like Sudhir Patwardhan and Vivan Sundaram – said, this is a frenzied attempt of an “insecure regime” to browbeat dissenting voices.
Prof Satyanarayana and Kurmanath After Partho were summoned following a series of arrests Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor of the Kabir Kala Manch in connection with the same case, the statement said, adding, the effort is to muzzle all kinds of “democratic aspirations” and “voices” coming from scholars, journalists and other concerned citizens.
Barbara Harris-White, Noam Chomsky
Satyanarayana is professor at the department of cultural studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and has been instrumental in establishing Dalit studies as an academic discipline and has a formidable reputation as a scholar and teacher. In a message to friends, he said he was directed to "appear before the NIA as a witness under section 160 CrPC and also u/s 91 of CrPC on 09.09.2020. My co-brother K Kurmanath, a senior journalist, was also summoned to appear at the same time and date".
“They have been summoned ostensibly to record their statements but it is evident that it is meant to coerce him and KV Kurmanath to make statements that will implicate their father-in-law, the revolutionary poet, Varavara Rao”, the signatories said.
The last time Prof Satyanarayana’s flat was raided was in August 2018 in order to “collect” evidence against jailed octogenarian Telugu poet Varavara Rao. According to him, the NIA notice aggravated his family’s distress at a time when Varavara Rao's health condition is not good and the pandemic is fast spreading in Mumbai.

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