An online petition on Change.org demanding the arrest of writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd has gained over 28,000 signatures online, within a span of two weeks.
Arya Vysya organisations have been holding protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and burning the writer's effigies, seeking a ban on his book 'Komatollu Samajika Smagglarlu' (Komatollu are social smugglers).
The petition, reportedly started by the International Vaish Federation of Tamil Nadu, states that Kancha has a "dubious track record" of attacking Brahmins in Andhra Pradesh and accuses him of provoking the Arya Vysya community unnecessarily.
Condemning the title that called them 'social smugglers', the petition also demands a ban on the book.
This comes one day after the writer was allegedly attacked with slippers and stones, as he was heading towards Hyderabad after attending a function in Bhupalpally in Telangana.
Kancha later filed a police complaint accusing a few people of attacking his vehicle and trying to kill him.
On Saturday, a criminal case was also registered against the writer by the Saidabad police in Hyderabad, after an advocate filed a complaint claiming that Kancha's books contained a lot of objectionable content.
"Further, the book mentions that Mahatma Gandhi, a Vysya, was killed by Nathuram Godse, a Brahmin. This promotes hatred between the two communities. Also, this is not the first instance where Kancha Ilaiah has spewed venom at Hinduism, its Gods and religious sentiments," the complainant was quoted as saying.
This also comes one week after the Andhra Pradesh CID registered a case against him under Section 153A IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups based on religion, place and through other means), while the stateâs DGP said that the police were studying whether there was a need to ban the book and how to legally do so.
State Environment Minister Sidda Raghava Rao has also openly condemned Kanchaâs book, telling the media, âWe have taken up the matter with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has shared the concerns expressed by the members of the community.â
TDP MP TG Venkatesh has also said that Kancha Ilaiah was a 'traitor' who deserved to be 'hanged' in public.
The Rajya Sabha MP is an Arya Vysya himself and is a leader of the community in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra.
âAnyone who makes comments that cause a threat to internal security is even shot on the road," he was quoted as saying.
Kancha has defended his book, telling reporters earlier, "Social Smuggling is a phrase. It is the economic process of exploitation, which means earning in business but not investing back into society."
In yet another development on Sunday, Kancha Ilaiah told TV9 that he was planning to impose a âhouse arrestâ on himself until October 4.
âUntil the evening of October 4, I am putting myself under house arrest. I plan to be silent. I will send a press statement to all media houses. I wonât come on TV debates, wonât give interviews to newspapers, and just stay at home,â Kancha said.
Kancha is presently the Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.