New Delhi : The Congress on Monday condemned the attack on writer and Dalit rights activist Kancha Ilaiah and demanded action against a TDP MP who had allegedly threatened him.
In a statement, party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said Kancha Ilaiah’s vehicle was pelted with shoes and stones at Ambedkar Centre in Parakal town of Warangal district on September 24.
He alleged that earlier TDP MP T.G. Venkatesh had issued a ‘fatwa’ against Ilaiah threatening to “kill” him or “hang him in the streets”.
“Coming from a sitting Member of Parliament and an ally of the BJP — this kind of death threat against a fellow citizen not only deserves strongest condemnation but is a clear cut criminal offence under Section 307 of IPC,” Surjewala said.
“Can a parliament member, who issues a fatwa against a citizen — that too a globally known writer and thinker — continue in the responsible position of an MP? It’s a question that the ruling BJP and TDP must answer,” Surjewala added.
The Congress leader said that issuing a “Talibani Fatwa” by members of ruling dispensation with “overt and covert support of the establishment is a dangerous trend in our polity”.
He alleged that an “unprecedented atmosphere of hate and intolerance” is being created to stifle the voice of those holding divergent views.
“The Indian National Congress demands that the TRS Government in Telangana should register an FIR against the TDP MP and order an inquiry into the attack and intimidation of Kancha Ilaiah.”
He said strangulating the voices of free thinkers and rationalists has become a “new normal in Modi’s New India”.
Referring to the killings of journalist Gauri Lankesh, scholar M.M. Kalburgi and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, Surjewala said a definite pattern has emerged “whereby lumpen elements having proximity to the government, take law in their own hands and physically assault those who do not agree with a certain ideology”.
“This disturbing trend cannot be and should not be tolerated. ‘If you do not agree with us, we shall kill you’ is the new slogan of New India. Muzzling the voice of ordinary citizens and the lynch mob mentality has become a regular habit of this Achhe Din government,” he alleged.
Surjewala said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu should immediately sack his party MP.
The Congress leader said BJP claims to be messiah of Dalits but was maintaining “a conspiratorial silence” on the entire issue.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah should condemn the incident and ask for action against the TDP MP.