Following the raids by the Pune police in many states on Tuesday, where they arrested poets, writers and activists, accusing them of being "Maoist sympathisers", the English and Foreign Languages University Teachers Association has strongly condemned the arrest of Professor Satyanarayana. Satyanarayana, whose residence was raided on Tuesday morning, is an anti-caste activist and head of the Department of Cultural Studies in EFLU.
Read the full statement.
The English and Foreign Languages University Teachers’ Association condemns in the strongest possible terms the police raid on our colleague Professor K. Satyanarayana’s house yesterday.
Yesterday, 28th August 2018, a group of policemen from Pune, Maharashtra entered the EFL University campus without the permission of any statutory officer and carried out a ‘raid’ on the campus home of Dr. K. Satyanarayana, Professor of Cultural Studies and Dean, School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Prof. Satyanarayana , a leading scholar in Literary and Cultural Studies, with immense academic contribution is one among the few Dalit Professors in the field. As many teachers, students and staff watched in horror and dismay, they proceeded to systematically intimidate, harass and threaten Prof. Satyanarayana and his family members, ransack his personal and professional belongings, and seize his papers, books, computer and research material.
The raid lasted almost eight hours and during this period, Prof. Satyanarayana and his family were kept under house arrest and prevented from meeting even his other family members. The police team entered the university and conducted the illegal raid under the blatantly false pretext of searching for Prof. Satyanarayana’s father-in-law and renowned poet and activist, Vara Vara Rao, who was already arrested by a police team yesterday in a separate incident. During the raid, the police team made vulgar and insulting remarks about universities and teachers and derogatory comments about students’ dress and appearance. They demanded to know why Prof. Satyanarayana read books by Marx and Ambedkar and why he did not display pictures of gods and goddesses instead!
We have learnt that similar raids and instances of harassment of lawyers, activists, intellectuals and teachers on political grounds occurred in other parts of the country yesterday. We see this as part of a larger plan to silence secular, progressive and democratic voices across India. This is a clear-cut project of threatening and suppressing citizens who work for Dalit ,Adivasi, and other marginalized groups. It is also part of a project to destroy academic freedom progressice traditions within the universities
In a conversation with the teachers, the University administration has also expressed concern about the incident.
We demand an inquiry into the blatant fabrication of charges, the lies and misinformation use by the police team to facilitate the raid.
We demand that the state address the violation of human rights and intrusion of the police into the academic space.
We demand that Prof. Satyanarayana’s personal belongings and research materials that were illegally seized should be immediately returned to him.
The entire teaching community stands with Prof. Satyanarayana during this unprecedented crisis.
-English and Foreign Languages University Teachers’ Association