NEW DELHI--Dalit writer and civil rights activist Anand Teltumbde wants to sue top Maharashtra police officer, Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Param Bir Singh, who detailed the charges against arrested activists in a press conference, The Hindu reported. Since the government needs to agree to this, Teltumbde has written to the principal secretary of the Maharashtra government's Home Ministry seeking permission.
In his press conference in Mumbai on 31 August, three days after the Pune police raided houses of several activists including Teltumbde and arrested five, Singh had accused Teltumbde of funding his human rights conference in Paris with funds received from Maoists.
Taking exception to this, among other claims made by Singh, Teltumbde wrote to the Maharashtra government that the allegations made by Singh at the press conference were "palpably false". He also said that the entire exercise had sullied his reputation before his students, academic colleagues, corporate clients and the public at large.
"My reputation has been irreparably damaged due to which I am also suffering professionally. Since the injury caused to me has been a direct result of Mr. Param Bir Singh's malafide and motivated actions, and since Mr. Param Bir Singh has publicised falsehoods against me knowing them to be untrue. Therefore, I am desirous of filing a criminal defamation proceeding against him," the letter said.
This is not the first time Singh's infamous press conference has caused controversy. The Bombay High Court earlier passed strictures against Singh for organising the press conference and revealing details about a case that is sub-judice. The conference, it was later reported, was held on the instructions of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.