Activists’ arrest: It’s undeclared emergency – Anand Teltumbde
Professor Anand Teltumbde, whose official Goa residence was raided by the Pune police in his absence the day before (Tuesday), made a surprise appearance at a press conference held to condemn the arrest of five activists in Mumbai.
“This is the face of the ‘urban Naxal’,” Mr. Teltumbde said, who is a professor with the Goa Institute of Management (GIM). Previously an executive director at Bharat Petroleum and an alumni of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Mr. Teltumbde expressed surprise that people with such background could be called ‘urban Naxals’.
“I have been an activist all through my life. I was a student leader in my college days and through my career I have been part of a democratic rights movement at large and have been associated with several organisations,” he said. Mr. Teltumbde has been the general secretary of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR). “Two of my organisation’s members — Shoma Sen and Arun Ferreira — have been arrested,” he said.
“Yesterday I was shocked. Luckily I came on an official tour to Mumbai, otherwise I would not have been talking before you. They could have arrested me then and there,” he said, stating that he first heard of the raid from the GIM director around 8.30 a.m.
“Three police vans gatecrashed and seized telephones of security staff. They picked up one of the security guards and forced him to get the key and open the door since the house was locked,” he narrated. “One of my colleagues, a senior professor, who lives in the same building, saw this and argued with the police and asked them to wait until the director came and take permission. The director was on his way since he does not live on campus. But the police did not wait for him and even threatened my colleague before opening the house,” Mr. Teltumbde said.
“It is not question of a few fellows being arrested and targeted. It could happen to anyone. The state has taken up the role of a terrorist and are targeting anyone that they want,” he said, adding that when the state loses its morals, then what could individuals do.
Mr. Teltumbde said the situation that we were living in was an undeclared emergency, which was worse than the Emergency declared in 1975. “The Emergency was constitutional. The law permitted it. We can discuss on how it was wrong, but here the current situation has no legal backing to it,” he said.