“During the first attack, I thought it was just the Arya Vyasas, but now it also the BJP," Kancha Ilaiah told TNM.

Jostled slippers thrown car attacked Kancha Ilaiah targeted again in Telangana
news Assault Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 17:46

Writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah was allegedly attacked again on Wednesday in Telangana, as he made his way through the towns of Jagtial and Koratla. In a separate incident on the same day, he was also reportedly attacked with a slipper outside as he was coming out of court.

It all started on Tuesday, when he reached Jagtial town to address a gathering.

Speaking to TNM, Kancha Ilaiah said, "Around 4 pm on Tuesday, I reached Jagtial and went to a TMASS (Telangana Mass and Social Organisations Forum) event, where the media and police were gathered. I was speaking about the condition of the farmers and the situation of agriculture in the state when they came." 

Kancha said that there were several men with BJP flags on their shoulders who were shouting violent slogans. 

"They threatened to cut me into pieces and demanded that I say 'Vande Mataram' if I wanted to stay in India. They shouted slogans for around one hour, but the police stopped them, and shifted us to a safe location," Kancha said.

After spending the night at Jagtial, he had to go to a court in Koratla at 8 am the morning after. The writer had been summoned to the court based on a complaint lodged by an Arya Vyasa leader.

On their way to Koratla, Kancha claims that a large crowd, comprising of BJP workers and people from Arya Vysya groups were waiting for him at a certain location near Jagtial town on the route. They charged at Kancha’s car as they approached that location, and were shouting abusive and violent slogans. Kancha claims that he was attacked, and slippers were thrown at him.

"There were many of them. The police put me in the car and asked the escort vehicle to get me out, but they still continued hitting and banging my car. The police had a tough time as it was very unusual to see all this happening -  first on the streets, and later on in court," he added.

Kancha said that the protesters also reached the court in huge numbers, and slogans could even be heard inside the complex. The judge reprimanded the behaviour, stating that the court could not be used for such political activity. Chaos continued to prevail even as Kancha was leaving the court. He was also reportedly hit with a slipper during this time. 

"After the court session, around 30 lawyers who supported me, signed a petition, and we went to the CPI office to address mediapersons. I thanked the media, the lawyers and the police, and reiterated that I'm writing for the continuation of the ideologies of Ambedkar and Jyotirao Phule, and therefore I respect the judiciary," Kancha said.

Speaking to the media, one protestor said, “We stopped professor Kancha Ilaiah’s car in Jagtial because he is known to insult Hindus and offend our religious sentiments. We told him that India is a diverse country, and like a fool, he is trying to point fingers at us. It is our duty to stop him. He is a traitor and we are the ones really respecting Ambedkar.”

Speaking to TNM, the Inspector of Jagtial Town Police Station said, "Everything is normal now. There was a group of miscreants, but no violence took place. Everyone has dispersed now, and everything is peaceful." 

The police asked Kancha to return to Hyderabad, following which he plans to decide his future course of action.

Kancha Ilaiah, alleging that the case was filed in such a distant place deliberately as it was far from Hyderabad, said that he needed surety and security and had to go in advance.

“My feeling is that law and order is breaking down. It's happening in front of the court. The BJP also is going all out for the first time," he said. 

"When the Supreme Court has ruled that the book can't be banned, why is a national party doing this? This indicates that they have a serious agenda. During the first attack, I thought it was just the Arya Vyasas, but now it also the BJP," he told TNM.

"The BJP is a ruling party and we know their stand now. The TRS should also spell out its stand, along with other political parties. This is a very serious issue and the question is, why is the BJP doing this? Does it not want me to write books? Does it not want a discussion on caste?" he asked.  

In September this year, Kancha was allegedly attacked with slippers and stones when he was heading towards Hyderabad from Bhupalpally in Telangana. He filed a police complaint accusing four people of attacking his vehicle and trying to kill him.

Arya Vysya groups have been holding protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, seeking a ban on his Telugu booklet 'Komatollu Samajika Smagglarlu' (Komatollu are social smugglers), which is an excerpt from his book ‘Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution’.

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