Kancha Ilaiah sent out this press release after mobs attacked him thrice in Telangana. He has received a series of threats over the Telugu translation of a chapter titled “Social Smugglers”, on Vysyas (Vaishyas), from his book Post-Hindu India.
I, Kancha Ilaiah, Dr Bheenaveni Ramaiah (an assistant professor of sociology at Osmania University who is also related to me) and my driver narrowly missed a murderous attack by Arya-Vysya forces at Parakal in Bhupalapally district at 4.45 pm on 23/9/2017. They were more than 30 people with big stones in their hands, at the Ambedkar statue in the junction where the road turns towards Warangal. Some of the attackers started chasing my car, banging it. They would have attacked us at the Bhupalapally red light crossing. But my driver pushed the accelerator as soon as the light turned green and saved us. The attack was pre-planned, for there were attackers waiting for us at Parkal, too. Even there, my driver saved us, as he took a quick right turn and drove to the nearby police station as fast he could. The mob followed my car up to the police station.
Thankfully, police personnel quickly surrounded my vehicle. The CI (Circle Inspector) and SI (Sub Inspector) really protected us. The Arya-Vysyas tried to barge into the police station. They waited there till I gave the petition and left with two police escort vehicles.
Even while the police followed us in two vehicles, on reaching Ghanpur, we saw several Arya-Vysyas on the road ready to attack our car. Again, the local CI had the presence of mind to take us through the village roads, enabling us to reach Hyderabad safely at 10pm. The experience was frightening.
Ever since the burning of my effigy on 10 September 2017, I have had to file three cases: one in Osmania Police Station, after Arya-Vysya leaders Ramakrishna and Ramana issued threats; the second after the fatwa issued by TDP (Telugu Desam Party) MP T.G. Venkatesh; and the third after this murderous attack in Parkal.
At the national level, Congress, CPM and CPI did not even condemn this incident. Within the state, Congress, TDP and other parties again remained silent. Only the Telangana unit of CPM and CPI condemned it. The ruling TRS and BJP have always been supporting the Arya-Vysyas and abusing me on TV channels. It’s tragic that no major human rights activist has come forward in my support in Telangana.
In my two petitions at Osmania I requested strong police protection at my house. That has also not been provided.
I am also losing faith in the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. Given this frightening situation, I took the following decisions:
1) Until 4 October 2017 I will be in self-imposed house arrest. If I need to go out for personal needs like (medical and other), I will inform the Osmania Police Station.
2) I won’t speak to the regional media. I may speak to national and international media but only if an appointment has been taken. That is also in good faith.
I thank my driver and the police officials involved in my protection.
KANCHA ILAIAH SHEPHERD
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