Courtesy: T.T. Sreekumar (The Week)

Prof. K. Satyanarayana has been summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to appear at their office in Mumbai on September 9. In a statement to Dalit Camera, he shared that he has been summoned as a witness under Section 160 and Section 19 the Criminal Procedure Code.

K. Satyanarayana is an Associate Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. He is a distinguished scholar and one of the most prominent academics of Dalit and anti-caste studies in India. He was active in the Andhra student movement during the 1990s and was also the founder-general secretary of Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samiti (Forum for Caste Annihilation).

In August 2018, Mumbai and Hyderabad police had raided and searched his and his wife Pavana Rao’s house for nearly 9 hours in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

The police had arrived with a warrant written in Marathi, which they only later found out claimed that Varavara Rao, Pavana’s father, resided with them. However, the Pune police were simultaneously raiding Varavara Rao’s house as well.

The police seized computers, academic manuscripts, and other personal belongings, and took pictures of all books containing words like Ambedkar, Marx, caste, and Hindutva. In a report on The Hindu, Prof. K. Satyanarayana told Kalpana Kannabiran, “The assaultive gaze moved from me to my university, my students, my cultural life, my values; they wanted me to be somebody else. It was very clear they wanted to humiliate me, and to book me. My real worry is that they will frame me in the Bhima Koregaon case.” In another report on The Wire, he pointed out that the police were able to humiliate and harass within his university campus in this way only because he is a Dalit.

Prof. Satyanarayana’s relationship with Varavara Rao has been used to harass him in the past as well. In the report on the Hindu, he recalled that when he had applied for a passport in 2000, the process was held up by a police report against him, on which was the single line, “He is Varavara Rao’s son-in-law”.

Prof. Satyanarayana has reiterated again and again that he has no relation with Bhima Koregaon whatsoever. Varavara Rao’s health has been steadily deteriorating during his incarceration in relation to the same case, and the pandemic has hit Mumbai very strongly.

Yet, at this time, the NIA has summoned Prof. Satyanarayana to Mumbai in a case with which he has absolutely no relation. No doubt, in order to harass him and intimidate him, and as Prof. Satyanarayana has said, to “destroy the creation of Dalit knowledge by delegitimizing, isolating, stigmatizing and criminalizing people like him”.


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December 2023


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