Osmania University Professor C Kasim was released from the Cherlapally jail on conditional bail on Wednesday, after spending nearly four months in prison. The professor was booked for sedition (Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code) and the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He was given bail by the Rangareddy district court.
Kasim, who is an associate professor working in the Telugu Department of the university, was accused of allegedly being linked to outlawed Maoist party members. He was arrested by the Gajwel police in January.
Police alleged that Kasim was working as an organiser of āunited front verticalā of Maoists for Telangana and was a coordinator for its funding, among other things.
Following his release, in an interview to TV9, the professor denied any association with the Maoists and refuted policeās allegations. āI never propagated Maoist ideology. Iāve been teaching for the past 15 years. In this span, at least 300 of my students have become teachers, 20 of them are working as junior college lecturers, some are journalists and even Group I officers. None of them have ever said that I have propagated Maoist ideology either in class or at any public gathering. Hence, I appeal to society: My lectures are available on YouTube, I have never spoken about Maoism or class struggle. My lecturers are all on Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule; education system; unemployment; and Telangana agitation,ā he said.
Kasim was among the group of intellectuals who led the struggle for Telangana statehood.
āI did not teach any Maoist lessons. Since I was in prison, I couldnāt deny these allegations to the media,ā Kasim said, appealing to journalists not to tarnish his image.
Police alleged that the professor had close links with the couple Narla Ravi Sharma and Bellapu Anuradha, alleged Maoists who were arrested by the LB Nagar police in November 2019. According to police, the professor went to Chhattisgarh to meet the leaders of the Maoists. Kasim denied these charges, saying, āI did not visit any of these places. I was just teaching at the university.ā
Kasim was booked under Section 10 (being member of an unlawful association) and 18 (Punishment for conspiracy) of the UAPA, along with Sections 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121A (Punishment for waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war against the government of India) and 124A (Sedition by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation) of the IPC.
The professor was also the secretary of Virasam or the Revolutionary Writers Association, besides working as an editor of the Telugu newspaper āNadusthunna Telangana.ā