TDP leaders under house arrest for protest against alleged Dalit atrocities
Scores of Telugu Desam Party leaders, including former minister Amarnath Reddy, were kept under house arrest and several others were taken into preventive custody, while they were on their way to the house of a Dalit youth who died a few days ago in Chittoor district.
Om Pratap, a Dalit auto rickshaw driver, died by suicide at his home in Kanduru Bandakadapalli SC colony of Somala block in Chittoor district on August 24, a day after his selfie video strongly criticising the liquor policy of the Jagan government went viral on social media.
For the last three days, Chandrababu Naidu and his party leaders have been using the youth’s death as a rallying point to protest against the alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state.
Even as the Chittoor police conducted a re-post mortem of Pratap’s body in the afternoon, the TDP leaders alleged that the Dalit youth had resorted to extreme step following threats from YSRCP leaders. “In a way, it is a murder by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government,” senior TDP politburo member and MLC Varla Ramaiah alleged.
On Thursday, Ramaiah lodged a complaint with the National SC Commission that the ruling YSRCP leaders’ vindictive action was responsible for the untimely death of Om Pratap. He requested that the commission order an inquiry and take immediate action against the ruling party leaders to prevent them from continuing their spate of atrocities against the weaker sections.
The TDP on Thursday also brought out a 27-page booklet titled “Dalitulapai Damanakanda-Dalita Drohi Jagan” (Atrocities on Dalits – Jagan, a betrayer of Dalits), listing out a series of atrocities allegedly being perpetrated on Dalits during the last 15 months of the YSRCP rule in the state.
Some of the alleged atrocities on Dalits mentioned in the booklet are: suspension and torturing of an anaesthetist Dr Sudhakar in Narsipatnam in Visakhapatnam, tonsuring and beating of a youth Varaprasad for allegedly questioning the sand mafia in East Godavari district, beating to death of another youth Kiran Kumar from Chirala in Prakasam for not wearing a face mask and killing of a TDP worker by YSRCP leaders in Gurajala in Guntur district etc.
“Over 100 such incidents of atrocities on Dalits took place during the YSRCP government rule over the last 15 months. Unfortunately, the police had been silent and not taken any action on the perpetrators of atrocities,” Naidu said.
However, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy underscored that there was no question of sparing anybody, irrespective of their stature, if there were allegations against them of indulging in atrocities against Dalits.
At a review meeting held a couple of days ago, Jagan said his government was not sparing even senior police officials and booked them under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. “There were four or five such instances of atrocities against Dalits and immediate action was initiated against the accused,” he said.
The chief minister said all the policemen down from constables should be given orientation classes and sensitised to face the situation.