The family of Babasaheb Ambedkar has issued a statement expressing concern regarding the “hounding” of Dr. Anand Teltumbde, saying that they are “extremely concerned for his life, and the suffering of his family if he is arrested and incarcerated like others.”
A signed statement has been issued by ex-Member of Parliament Prakash Yashwantrao Ambedkar, Bhimrao Yashwantrao Ambedkar, Anandraj Yashwantrao Ambedkar and Teltumbde’s wife Rama. In it, the members of B.R. Ambedkar’s family mention that they had expected that the courts would quash the Elgar-Parishad case which was registered by the Pune Police in August 2018.
“Over the last two years we reared this notion. But recently when the High Court rejected his petition and the vehemence with which the Central Government took away the case to National Investigation Agency (NIA), the intentions of the state has become clearer that it wants to incarcerate him in jails for years (sic),” they wrote. They add that the family lives on “tenuous hope” that the Supreme Court, where his appeal will be heard, does justice.
Their statement said that it wants to “make it clear that Dr. Anand Teltumbde is a party of Ambedkar family and perhaps therefore the BJP government has targeted him as the softest target to touch the family.”
Ambedkar’s family goes on to mention that while Teltumbde’s opinions may not “sound stereotypical”, he has “contributed to define Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ideas more than any living person today.”
Listing out the achievements of Teltumbde, which include an Executive Directorship at Bharat Petroleum and his post of MD & CEO at Petronet India Limited, the statement mentions that Teltumbde always took up the cudgels for the oppressed “and also earned his name among the foremost civil rights activists in the country.”
“Such a person has been implicated in the fabricated case of Elgar Parishad, which he did not even attend,” their statement said. They write that there was a wave of protests across the world when Teltumbde was “illegally arrested by the Police” and that the way the case has progressed “revealed the fabrication of (the) case”. They add that a case which “stood on confiscated digital devices” was “open to be manipulated by the police must have been dismissed at the inception itself. But under the plea that it would be dealt with at the time of trial and misusing the provisions of the draconian law like UAPA which does not allow anticipatory bail, the innocent persons are held in jail for years.”
The statement noted that unlike the other accused in the case, “nothing has been recovered” from Teltumbde and that he has already been interrogated for two days “at the instance of the High Court. However, the case persisted with extreme amoral zeal.”
The Ambedkar family concluded by mentioning that they were “extremely concerned” for Teltumbde’s life and called upon the Ambedkarite community to “raise their voice taking it as an attack on Ambedkar family and an attempt to defile the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar.”