Over 200 intellectuals and right-wing activists also criticized the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for summoning Ray in an open letter, claiming it was a “sinister attempt at the fascist regime’s witch-hunt to silence voices of dissent and protest bring to.” “”
The professor in the Kolkata Department of India’s Science Education and Research Institutes (IISER) said no charges had been brought against him and he had never visited the Bhima Koregaon memorial in Pune.
“The Agency (NIA) has called me as a witness in the case under Section 160 CrPC. Therefore, there are no charges against me. I have no connection with this case as I have never been to Bhima Koregaon. I was not. ” I’m even aware of the incident until I read about it in the newspapers, “he told PTI.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has asked Ray, who also heads the West Bengal unit of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), to appear at their Mumbai office for questioning on September 10 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.
The case relates to an incident of caste violence that occurred near the Bhima Koregaon War Memorial on January 1, 2018, after conclave speeches allegedly given the day before in Elgar Parishad.
Several vehicles were set on fire and one person was killed in the incident, sparking large-scale Dalit agitation in Maharashtra.
“This is nothing more than a tactic to harass and intimidate me, as is the case with academics and intellectuals across India. I am a biomedical scientist who has been involved in the fight against COVID-19.
“I have also consistently sided with the persecuted and disadvantaged. It is very regrettable that I am harassed in this way at this critical time,” he said.
The open letter from right-wing activists and intellectuals said that Ray was involved in peaceful, democratic popular movements, particularly in the fight for the rights of poor and marginalized Dalits and Adivasis.
His tireless work in defense of civil liberties and the release of political prisoners is exemplary, the letter published on Sunday said.
“The NIA’s harassment of Dr. Ray is another sinister attempt by the fascist regime’s witch hunt to silence voices of dissent and protest.
“We, the undersigned, condemn this brazen attack on democratic activities in the strongest possible terms and demand the immediate withdrawal of the threatening, threatening interrogation notice by the NIA,” it says.
The letter was written by historian Sumit Sarkar, actor Sabyasachi Chakroborty, human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen and the attorney and CPI (M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya signed.