6 cops suspended for handcuffing Amaravati farmers during judicial remand
The Amaravati farmers alleged that the ruling YSR Congress party leaders had brought outsiders to launch a counter-agitation in support of the three capitals decision.Updated: Oct 28, 2020, 21:13 IST
The Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday suspended six head constables and served charge memos on a reserve inspector and a sub-inspector for handcuffing seven farmers from Amaravati in connection with their agitation against the formation of three capitals for the state.
Guntur (rural) superintendent of police Vishal Gunni said the department took serious note of the farmers being handcuffed while being shifted from Narsaraopet sub-jail to Guntur prison on Monday.
He also ordered a detailed probe by a committee headed by an additional superintendent of police. “It is unfortunate. There is no question of shielding any errant officer. Investigation is on,” he said.
The arrested farmers from Krishanayapalem included five SCs and two OBCs and the police, ironically, booked them, along with four others, under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. They were charged with obstructing some Dalits from neighbouring villages, who had come to Amaravati last week to stage demonstrations in support of the three capitals plan.
The Amaravati farmers alleged that the ruling YSR Congress party leaders had brought outsiders to launch a counter-agitation in support of the three capitals decision. “We did not abuse them or attack them. We only questioned their credentials. For that, the police foisted cases against us,” a farmer told reporters.
On Monday, the police arrested six farmers and remanded them to judicial custody in Narsaraopet jail. On Tuesday, they were subjected to Covid-19 tests and later, shifted to Guntur jail in a bus. In the process, the police handcuffed the farmers.
This triggered massive protests from farmers in Amaravati. Representatives of Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi and Joint Action Committee staged protests in Amaravati, demanding the release of the arrested villagers.
Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu said the police had committed a serious human rights violation by handcuffing the farmers. He alleged that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was harassing farmers for agitating and demanding that the capital city be retained at Amaravati.
TDP politburo member Varla Ramaiah sought the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) intervention in the matter.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh called on the families of the arrested farmers at Krishnayapalem and extended solidarity.