Andhra Pradesh Police on Saturday placed writer and social activist Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest in Tarnaka, IANS reported. A team of police personnel from the forces in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were deployed to prevent him from leaving for Vijayawada to address a public meeting.
On Friday, police officials told Ilaiah that prohibitory orders have been imposed in Vijayawada because organising a rally or a meeting in the city could create law and order problems.
The Dalit writer alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government was resorting to undemocratic methods, IANS reported. He said there was a grave threat to freedom of speech and expression in the state.
The writer has been accused of allegedly hurting religious sentiments in his book Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu. Ilaiah has reportedly claimed that the Arya-Vysya community used to eat meat and were agriculturalists.
The joint committee of Arya Vysya and Brahmin communities had threatened severe consequences if Ilaiah was allowed to hold the gathering in the city, according to IANS. The Aikya Vedika had also planned to organise a meeting to counter the writer’s. However, their meeting was called off after the police assured them that Ilaiah would not be allowed to visit Vijayawada.
The World Arya-Vyasa Mahasabha had earlier accused the writer of receiving funds from abroad, and sought an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. They also demanded that the police book him under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly making money through illegal sources.
On October 12, the Hyderabad Police had registered a case against the writer for hurting religious sentiments. On September 11, Ilaiah had filed a police complaint after he said he received threat calls because of his book.
But, on October 15, the Supreme Court had refused to ban Ilaiah’s book because it said the author’s fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression must not be curbed. “When an author writes a book, it is his or her right of expression,” the bench had said.