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Arrest of Anand Teltumbde Suggests Govt is Willing to Subvert Constitution: Academics

Romila Thapar, Devaki Jain, Maja Daruwala, Prabhat Patnaik and Satish Deshpande noted that arresting people without proven evidence has become "government policy".

Historian Romila Thapar, economists Devaki Jain and Prabhat Patnaik, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative member Maja Daruwala and academician Satish Deshpande have stated that the unlawful arrest of professor Anand Teltumbde by the Maharashtra Police makes a mockery of constitutional guarantees, of due process, and democracy.

In their statement, they said that, “While the illegal arrest of professor Anand Teltumbde by the Maharashtra Police in defiance of the Supreme Court has been set aside for the time being, the fact that it occurred at all points to the breakdown of the rule of law within a government agency whose duty it is to uphold the law.”

Noting that such an act makes a mockery of constitutional guarantees, of due process, and democracy, they added: “The motivation behind these arrests and the abuse of process they highlight has been strongly questioned by many, but these serious doubts and even the reservations of the higher judiciary have been ignored by the government.

Also Read: Koregaon Bhima case: Pune Police Arrests Accused Dalit Scholar Anand Teltumbde

Professor Teltumbde’s arrest, according to them, demonstrates that the procedure of arresting people without proven evidence has become “government policy”.

That academics, intellectuals, writers, lawyers and others are arrested at will without due process, or reasonable cause, they underlined once again, was a “frontal attack on the right to think freely and express and discuss an opinion in public.”

They insinuated that arrests such as these are a well-known way of silencing citizens who express dissent or work towards establishing fundamental human rights. “Those that have been arrested will be incarcerated for years to come, judging by the fact that even the five activists arrested last year, spend month after month in jail without a proper judicial hearing.”

“The state is willing to subvert the Constitution,” they alleged.

Also Read:   SC Grants Scholar and Dalit Rights Activist Anand Teltumbde Four Weeks Interim Protection From Arrest

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