Academic and rationalist threatened over the phone, accused of being anti-Hindu
Following a threat to the life and well being of noted academic, rationalist and civil society member Dr. Ram Puniyani, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has intervened in the matter and written to the National Human Rights commission (NHRC). We have appealed, in our letter, for urgent action to be taken in this matter, and also to ensure that proper protection be provided to Dr Puniyani and his family.
The former IIT Bombay professor, who is also a well-known rationalist, received the threats by phone on the night of June 6, 2019. Two calls were made to his home phone number and Puniyani was accused of being anti-Hindu. The caller, who used extremely abusive language, threatened dire consequences if Dr. Puniyani didn't stop his activities and leave within 15 days! Dr Puniyani has filed an FIR with the Powai police station in Mumbai and also written to the Commissioner of Police.
Given his persistent and relentless campaign for rationalist thought, a syncretic understanding of history -- with lectures and workshops held allover India -- these threats can only be seen as serious. Therefore, CJP has moved NHRC to ensure that authorities take swift and serious action in this case and this human rights defender is protected adequately. CJP, in the letter addressed to HL Dattu, honourable chairperson of NHRC, says, "We are extremely concerned about the threats to noted rationalist and civil rights activist Dr Ram Puniyani’s life." It adds, "Sir given the NHRC’s mandate to ensure the free and safe activities to promote human rights and Constitutional values, and the imminent threat to Dr Puniyani’s life, we urge urgent action in the matter." A copy of our letter may be viewed here.