Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest, cannot travel to Vijayawada to address meet

Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest, cannot travel to Vijayawada to address meet

Controversial political theorist and Dalit activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd has been kept under house arrest at his residence here by the Andhra Pradesh police, with the help of their Telangana counterparts, since Friday night, to prevent him from travelling to Vijayawada.

Ilaiah was supposed to address a public meeting in Vijayawada, 270 km from here on Saturday afternoon.

The Andhra Pradesh police have denied permission for the public meeting, fearing backlash from the upper castes, particularly the Vysyas and Brahmins, who also sought permission to conduct a public meeting at the same venue. The police have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the IPC and under Section 30 of the Police Act.

A police team handed over the order to Ilaiah and is keeping a vigil on his house. They may arrest him if he comes out of his residence. Activists from T-MASS (Telangana Mass and Social Organisations Forum), an umbrella group of 272 organisations, have gathered near his residence. They raised slogans against the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments, alleging suppression of the voices of weaker sections.

Ilaiah, who serves as director of the Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University here, stoked controversy when Samajika Smugglerlu: Komatollu, a Telugu translation of the English original 'Social Smugglers,' was published recently.

The book says, historically, Arya Vysyas used to eat non-vegetarian food, were agriculturalists and reared cattle. They turned vegetarian later.

With the business community opposing the book and burning copies of it, tensions ran high and Ilaiah did not venture out of his house for days, fearing attacks from the community. However he got respite when a petition in the Supreme Court, pleading for a ban on the book, was rejected by the court.

DH News Service

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