Khammam police on Sunday prevented social scientist and writer Prof Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd from addressing a gathering and forced him to return to Hyderabad, citing trouble from the Arya Vysya groups.
Ilaiah was invited as the chief guest at a two-day conference organised by the Telangana Sheep Breeders Association. However, police had cautioned the organisers against him speaking at the event and warned of cancelling the permission for the event if they did not adhere to the warning.
Despite the warning, Ilaiah tried to reason with the police about speaking at the event. The scene soon turned chaotic as Ilaiah was accompanied by numerous activists. Sensing trouble, the Khammam police forced him into a police van and escorted him against his will to his house in Hyderabad.
Speaking to TNM on Sunday, Ilaiah lamented, “This is the first time that the Telangana police have prevented me from speaking. Isn’t this a violation of fundamental rights… my right to speak?”
“Instead of taking the troublemakers into preventive custody to ensure a peaceful meeting, the police have prevented me from speaking. In the meeting I wanted to address key issues pertaining to the Telangana government’s free sheep scheme,” he rued.
He complained, “I was supposed to share some key concerns. Can’t I even speak to the people in my own community?”
He said that he will visit the state Director General of Police on Monday to revoke the gag order against him.
“Police told me that they were given directions by the DGP. I will meet him tomorrow and give him my representation.”
Ilaiah has been facing numerous problems ever since the release of his book ‘Samajika Smugglerlu – Komatollu,’ which is a Telugu translation of a chapter from his 2009 book ‘Post Hindu India.’
The social scientist was attacked twice by violent Arya Vysya groups, most recently at a court in Jagityal district where footwear and eggs were hurled at him. However, police escorted him safely to his car.