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Congress condemns attack on Dalit rights activist Kancha Ilaiah, terms it attempt to stifle democracy

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday condemned the attack on noted dalit writer and thinker Kancha Ilaiah, describing it as another attempt to stifle democracy, and
questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for their silence over the assault.

Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala asked Modi and Shah why they had not condemned the incident, and urged them to take action against a TDP MP who had allegedly threatened the writer. Ilaiah had on 23 September filed a police complaint in Parkal in Warangal, Telangana, alleging that four people attacked his vehicle in the town and tried to kill him.

"Strangulating the voices of free thinkers and rationalists has become the 'new normal' in Narendra Modi's 'New India'," Surjewala said.

File image of Kancha Ilaiah. Image Courtesy: Facebook/Kancha Ilaiah

File image of Kancha Ilaiah. Image Courtesy: Facebook/Kancha Ilaiah

He said in a statement that "an atmosphere of hate and intolerance" was being created to "stifle the voice of those holding divergent views". The Congress leader said the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi were a "definite pattern" and alleged that "lumpen elements having proximity to the ruling government take the law in their own hands and physically assault those who do not agree with a certain ideology".

"The series of killings of rationalists, free thinkers and journalists has created an atmosphere that dissent, differences and divergence of views can endanger one's life. This disturbing trend cannot be and should not be tolerated," he said.

Taking on the TDP leadership after its MP allegedly issued an edict against Ilaiah, the Congress leader asked why the BJP, TDP, TRS and their allies were encouraging the offenders "who threaten a noted professor and activist with such brazenness".

The Congress demands that the TRS Government in Telangana register an FIR and order an enquiry into the attack and intimidation of Ilaiah, he said, and urged TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to take action against the MP.

"The BJP, which flaunts a mask of being the messiah of dalits and backwards, is maintaining a conspiratorial silence on the entire issue," he said, and asked Modi and Shah to condemn the incident and direct action against the MP.

A police official in Parkal had said on Saturday that members of the Arya Vysya community had been protesting over Ilaiah's book 'Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu' (Vysyas are social smugglers).

Updated Date: Sep 25, 2017 22:22 PM

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