Hyderabad: Virasam, the Revolutionary Writers’ Association, condemned the arrest of Osmania University assistant professor Chinthakindi Kashim on Saturday by the Gajwel police in a five year old case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and demanded his unconditional release.
“The draconian UAPA gives unbridled power to the government to brand any ordinary citizen or activist as a terrorist,” said Professor G. Haragopal, convener of the Forum Against Repression, while speaking to the media.
Mr Kashim’s mother Veeram said, “My son is just an assistant professor. He never committed any crime. I want to see my child.” She broke down and did not speak further
Mr Kashim is a well-known poet, literary critic and analyst in Telugu literature. He edits and publishes a magazine named ‘Nadusthuna Telangana’, he has also published several books including an anthology of poems.
Speaking about Mr Kashim’s arrest, Virasam state president Arasavalli Krishna, “We cannot undermine his 25 years of work which casts light on injustice. He has raised his voice against human rights violations of the poorest and most marginalised communities like Dalits and tribals. He has strongly opposed the undemocratic and autocratic rule of the TRS.”
Mr Krishna said Mr Kashim is a first generation scholar and his works on Telugu literature were of great importance. Mr Kashim had recently released ‘Academic Untouchability’ during the golden jubilee celebrations of Virasam.
He said Mr Kashim’s name was included in seven FIRs. “Neither his voice nor his pen yielded to state terror,” Mr Krishna said.
Ms E. Jaya, state vice-president of the Chaitanya Mahila Sangam said, “As rights activists are questioning the corruption and human rights violations, the government they are trying to curb our voices by arresting us. As part of this, Varavara Rao, K. Jagan, Devender and two others from Chaitanya Mahila Sangham have been arrested.
Prof Haragopal raised grave concerns over the relentless crackdown on civil society and human rights defenders and the rise of fascism. “The way in which Kashim was arrested causes more concern than the arrest itself. The police barged into his residence by breaking the doors. Kashim would have appeared before the police when he was issued a notice. He was arrested in a way to create fear.”
Prof. Haragopal added that the police should not enter the university premises without prior permission from the Vice Chancellor, and pointed out that the Delhi police didn’t enter the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus though students were being physically assaulted.
In this case, the police circumvented the university rules, he said. “The questions asked by Kashim are, in a sense, radical or revolutionary questions. Again and again such questions will be asked by intellectuals coming from marginalised,” he said....