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Harassment, intimidation, filing of false cases, physical attacks, death threats and house arrest of Kancha Ilaiah

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Prof. Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

Professor

Telangana

 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on November 2 regarding harassment, intimidation, filing of false cases, physical attacks, death threats and house arrest of Prof. Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd.

 

Prof. Kancha Ilaiah is a political analyst, human rights activist and one of India’s most prominent thinkers and author of several books. He is the Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad

National Urdu University, Hyderabad.

 

 

On September 23, 2017, Prof. Kancha Ilaiah was heading towards Hyderabad. Around 200 members of the Arya Vysya community held a demonstration at Ambedkar Chowrasta (crossing) in the city after they spotted Prof. Kancha Ilaiah’s vehicle, attacked his vehicle and allegedly attempted to kill him. The driver of his car, sensing trouble, diverted the car to the Parkal Town Police Station.

 

The Arya Vysya associations have taken offence to the title and content of his book, ‘Post Hindu India’. The book has been translated in Telugu and published by Boomi Publications. They claim it is derogatory towards their caste.

 

It is to be noted that the Arya Vysya associations held protests in Hyderabad in September alleging that the title of the book and some of its content was derogatory and demeaning to the community. Following the protests, the professor lodged a police complaint alleging threat to his life.

 

On September 18, 2017, Mr. T.G. Venkatesh, a Arya Vysya leader and a Member of Parliament from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), in a

press conference, issued a death threat against Prof. Kancha Ilaiah, claiming that he would kill him or hang him on the streets for making derogatory remarks against the Vyasa community.

 

Prof. Kancha Ilaiah was about to travel to Vijayawada on October 28, 2017, to address a public meeting and a felicitation ceremony organised by some Dalit organisations against alleged suppression of freedom of expression by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments in the context of his book. The police said that organising a rally or a meeting in the city could create law and order

problems. He was then placed under house arrest preventing him from going to the meeting and addressing the gathering. He was told that any attempt to leave his house would lead to his arrest.

 

On October 28, 2017, his supporters gathered outside his house demanding that he be released and attempted to commence a rally to Vijayawada. The police stopped them and arrested 21 persons.

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