Activist and Dalit Rights Scholar Gautam Navlakha & Anand Teltumbde surrendered before the National Investigation Agency today in Bhima Koregaon Case as per the direction of the Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted one week time to activists Gautam Navlakha & Anand Teltumbde to surrender in case registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which is alleged to be a fore thought of these activists.
Before leaving for surrender to the NIA both activists have written an open letter to public expressing their anguish on the misuse of law by the government and their machinery. They have expressed hope in the process of law and the Courts of the Country.
Letter written by Anand Teltumbde reads as, “Since August 2018, when the police raided my house in the faculty housing complex of the Goa Institute of Management, my world has turned completely topsy-turvy.Never in my worst dreams could I imagine the things that began happening to me. Although, I was aware that the police used to visit the organisers of my lectures – mostly universities – and scare them with enquiries about me, I thought they might be mistaking me for my brother who left the family years ago. While I was teaching at IIT Kharagpur, an officer of BSNL phoned, introducing himself as my admirer and well-wisher, and informed me that my phone was being tapped. I thanked him but did nothing, I did not even change my SIM.”
The letter further states that “And this can happen literally to anyone. In the name of the ‘nation’, such draconian laws that denude innocent people of their liberties and all constitutional rights are constitutionally validated. The jingoist nation and nationalism have got weaponised by the political class to destroy dissent and polarise people. The mass frenzy has accomplished complete de-rationalisation and inversion of meanings where destroyers of the nation become desh bhakts and selfless servers of the people become deshdrohis. As I see my India being ruined, it is with a feeble hope that I write to you at such a grim moment. Well, I am off to NIA custody and do not know when I shall be able to talk to you again. However, I earnestly hope that you will speak out before your turn comes” said Mr. Teltumbde.
Gautam Navlakha in his letter before surrendering thanked Justice Arun Mishra & Justice Indira Banerjee forgiving him one more week of freedom in the age of lockdown. He said that he has to now face the actual legal process, which accompanies cases where UAPA are invoked. Such acts turns the normal jurisprudence upside down. No longer is it the axiom that ‘a person is innocent unless proven guilty.’ In fact, under such laws, ‘an accused is guilty unless proven innocent.’ He also said under this double whammy jail becomes the norm and bail an exception.
Mr. Navlakha expressed his hope that a speedy and fair trial for myself and all his fellow co-accused. This alone will enable him to clear his name and walk free. He quoted few lines of Bob Marley which reads as,
“Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom
‘Cause all I ever have
These songs of freedom……”
-India Legal Bureau