Hyderabad: The Begum Bazaar police on Saturday stopped a meeting organised by the Democratic Teachers Federation, and detained 54 academics including Prof G. Haragopal.
The purpose of the meeting of the teachers at the Telangana Non-Gazetted Officers’ Bhavan (NGO Bhavan) on Saturday was to demand the release of activist Varavara Rao and others who were arrested in November last year in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The police took five people, including Prof. Haragopal, to the Narayanguda police station and the rest of them were shifted to Ramgopalpet police station as preventive detention. The police also sealed the venue and put up barricades on roads leading to it.
The academics said no permission was taken for the meeting as it was being held indoors. “We live in a democratic and free country and today’s incident has only let down the spirit of the country. There was no need of police permission as it was an indoor meeting. It is wrong to say that it needed permission,” Prof Haragopal said. “Don’t we have the freedom to speak and demand the release of activists? Why is the Telangana state government curbing our freedom?” the professor asked.
“We condemn this undemocratic and inhuman act of the Telangana state government. It is shameful to disrupt an indoor meeting of teachers who want to speak about activists and fellow teachers like Varavara Rao, Prof. G.N. Saibaba and Shoma Sen,” said a teacher who was detained.
“It is shameful to boast about the percentage of polling as a mark of democracy while suppressing democratic voices simultaneously. We urge all democrats to condemn this fascist attitude of the Telangana government and protest against it,” the teacher said.
Activists Varavara Rao, Dr Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Maoist leader Ganapathy are accused of organising the Elgar Parishad event held on December 31, 2017 to mark the 200 years of the battle of Bhima Koregaon, to commemorate the victory of a Dalit force of the British Army over the Marathas.
Clashes erupted in the Maharashtra village between Dalits and Marathas. The commemoration of the victory has been held peacefully for many years until now....