In the multi-city raids conducted with relation to the Bhima Koregaon violence, the house of Professor K Satyanarayana, who heads the Cultural Studies Department at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad was also searched on Tuesday. Satyanarayana claimed that his house was searched only because he is the son-in-law of Varavara Rao.
The Students’ Alliance for Justice and Democracy (SAJD) Facebook page on Tuesday posted a video of Satyanarayana, speaking to a crowd of students and teachers outside his house in Hyderabad after the raids were conducted. In the video, Satyanarayana says that his thirty years of life and works have been destroyed in five minutes and he was humiliated.
He stated the police conducted the raid without citing any valid charge against him other than the fact that he is the son-in-law of Rao, a prominent social activist and poet. Rao, whose home was also searched, was arrested on Tuesday and is set to be produced in Pune court today.
"They asked me 'why are you reading Mao', 'why are you reading Marx', 'why are you having the songs of Gaddar' and 'why are you keeping the photos of Ambedkar and Phule instead of gods and goddesses'. They also asked me 'why do you want to become an intellectual, why can't you be happy with the money you are getting?'. I am happy, but I have to read and teach,” said Satyanarayana.
The professor was given no prior intimation regarding the raid and him along with his family were imprisoned inside the house for the whole day. The police confiscated the laptops, hard discs, pen drives and all the academic materials from his house and blocked his phone and email. "They have blocked everything now. For the next six months, I cannot do anything," Satyanarayana says in the video.
The police have also searched the house of Rao’s second daughter Anala and her husband KV Kurmanath, who is a journalist.
The raid was part of the larger raids and arrests of eminent scholars and activists across the country alleging connection with the protests at Bhima Koregaon village.
The initial raids were conducted in the homes of Telugu poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Farreira in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in Delhi. Subsequently, Rao, Bhardwaj, Gonsalves and Farreira were arrested.
Rao, Gonzalves and Farreira will be produced in a Pune court on Wednesday. Bharadwaj and Navlakha, who were arrested in Delhi, are not to be moved to Pune as their transit remand was rejected.
Human rights groups and various activists have decried the arrest of five Left-leaning intellectuals and raids at their homes. Author Arundhati Roy called the Maharashtra Police crackdown 'an attempted coup against the Indian Constitution' while historian Ramachandra Guha called the action "absolutely chilling".
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, "Fascist fangs are now openly bared. It is a clear declaration of emergency. They are going after anyone who has spoken against the government on rights issues. They are against any dissent."
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 29, 2018 12:12 PM