NEW DELHI – Calling Dr Anand Teltumbde’s arrest on Ambedkar Jayanti “shameful”, both current and former Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) , including two from Gujarat, wrote an open letter on Sunday.
Coinciding with the upcoming Ambedkar Jayanti, Dr Anand Teltumbde, will be complying with the Supreme Court’s order to surrender to the jail authorities. He will be surrendering on April 14, 2020, between noon and 2 pm at the Sessions Court in Mumbai.
Teltumbde was charged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code following the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra on January 1, 2018.
The Supreme Court on April 8 gave activists Gautam Navlakha and Anil Teltumbde a week’s time to surrender. Earlier, their anticipatory bail pleas were rejected by the court and they were given time until April 6 to surrender.
“This is both tragic and shameful for all Dalits, Adivasis, OBC, and minorities on many counts for all of India. It marks a day on which this country will celebrate the 129th birth anniversary of one of its greatest minds and hearts, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and on which the mighty nationalist machinery seeks to crush the spirit that kept the flame of democracy alive in our midst,” the letter reads.
“We, the undersigned, call upon the Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, and minority leaders to stand up and seek justice in the finest of traditions that Babasaheb has bequeathed to us… It becomes our duty to come together at this hour and demand that the Indian authorities allow Teltumbde to live and write, to be a free spirit that enlivens our democratic selves, and remain the beacon that he is for educating, organising, and agitating for a better India and a better world,” the signatories includes Jignesh Mevani, independent MLA from Vadgam in Banaskantha district and Naushad Solanki, Indian National Congress MLA from Dasada in Surendranagar district.