MUMBAI: Human rights activist Anand Teltumbde refuted Saturday the Maharashtra police claim that he had attended a convention in Paris which was allegedly funded by Maoists and dismissed as outrageous charges of the Naxal link.
Teltumbde, who teaches at a management institute in Goa, was among the activists and lawyers whose homes were raided by the Pune police on August 28 on suspicion they had links with Maoists.
"These are all false allegations to malign and defame my image. I dont know any Maoist leader and I am not having any relation with this," Teltumbde told PTI over the phone.
"I keep going abroad for academic conferences. It is all on official invitations and everything is well documented," he said.
The raid on the home of Teltumbde, a Goa Institute of Management professor and Dalit writer, was part of multi-city searches carried out by the Pune police in connection with an event held in Pune in December last year.
Five Left-wing activists were arrested during the searches and they are under house arrest till September 6 as per a Supreme Court direction. Teltumbde is not among them.
In a press briefing here Friday, the Maharashtra Police had cited a letter, allegedly written by "Comrade Prakash", that mentions about arranging funds for a human rights convention attended by "Comrade Anand" in Paris.
However, the police did not say when the convention was held. The letter also mentioned allocating Rs 10 lakh annually to organise international seminars on Dalit issues, they had said.
The press meet was addressed by Additional Director General (Law and Order) Param Bir Singh. Dismissing these charges, Teltumbde said, "I dont know any Maoist leaders and I have not received any letters. Police should think before levelling allegation, they should see my background, the work I which I did, I don't have time to do all these things," he said, adding "this is all outrageous".
"My profession and whatever I do is all in public domain. This is a deliberate attempt by the police to trouble common people. I keep writing on various issue and I will be always critical," he said.
Teltumbde alleged harassment of activists by the police.
"Only because the police have rights and they will do anything they want, this is not done," he said, alleging "they are harassing us by doing such things".
The August 28 raids were carried out as part of a police probe into the Elgaar Parishad, an event held in Pune on December 31, 2017.
Police say "provocative speeches" delivered at the event was one of the reasons for violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district the next day.