In a statement by COSTISA, they said that an eminent academician, intellectual, human rights activist and management professional, Prof. Anand Teltumbde’s arrest from Mumbai was illegal and violeted SC orders.
Image Courtesy: Nitin Brahme
COSTISA (Coordination of Science and Technology Institutes’ Student Association) coordination between progressive and democratic student organizations of IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT BHU, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, IIT Gandhinagar, IMS BHU and other Science & Technology institutes condemned the illegal arrest of Prof. Anand Teltumbde on February 2.
In a statement by COSTISA, they said that an eminent academician, intellectual, human rights activist and management professional, Prof. Anand Teltumbde was arrested from Mumbai domestic airport when he was returning to Mumbai from Kochi.
“This action blatantly violates the Supreme Court order dated 14th January which gave Anand protection from arrest for four weeks so that he could approach the courts for bail from the farcical FIR against him by the Pune police. This arrest was made while he came to Mumbai as he was scheduled to file his anticipatory bail petition in the High Court this morning,” they said.
They added that the Pune police hold him responsible for “inflammatory” speeches that supposedly led to the violence in Bhima Koregaon, although it is well known he wasn't there. Moreover, there is documented proof of him being a critic of the episode.
“He has been vocal about the education sector which adversely affected by the neoliberal policies adopted by successive governments. By closing down primary schools, severely cutting funds in higher education institutes, encouraging private investments on education, funding private institutes by tax-payers' money, forcing institutes to generate their own funds through fee hikes or corporate-funded research etc., the ruling dispensation has continually tried to push forth their monstrous neoliberal agenda of liberalisation and privatisation. These actions of the state aim towards dissociating the marginalized masses from the fruits of education. Prof. Teltumbde has been a guiding force behind the nationwide movement to save the education sector from these anti-people policies under the banner of All India Forum for Right To Education (AIFRTE),” they added.
Recently, this interim budget again decreased fund allocation towards important S&T institutes like IITs, IISERs and regulatory bodies such as UGC and AICTE, while directing the higher educational institutions to increase around 25% seats, which means another obvious hike in student tuition fees in near future and making higher education a more faraway dream for the marginalized. Similar is the attitude of the government towards research scholars who were demanding a scholarship hike of 80% but have only been granted a token increase even after so many days of agitation and movements. In such a scenario, arresting a crusader like Prof. Teltumbde is to crush a bold and important voice who always stand beside the students and the youth of our country, they said.
They said that this arrest shows the desperation of this fascist RSS-BJP government who take police actions against dissenting voices like Prof. Teltumbde even violating the Supreme Court order.
“COSTISA strongly condemns this arrest and urges all the students, intellectual and democratic voices to rise in rage against this action and demand his immediate and unconditional release so as to preserve some democracy in the country we live in,” they said.
Holding that academic Anand Teltumbde’s early morning arrest by the Maharashtra police was “illegal” and amounted to contempt of the Supreme Court, a Pune sessions court on Saturday ordered his immediate release.