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Andhra HC orders release of poor people's doctor

Andhra Pradesh high court today declared the detention of Dr Cheruku Sudhakar, popularly known as poor peoples' doctor, as illegal. He was arrested during the October 2011 Telangana strike and later detained under NSA. Ashok Das reports.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2011 16:38 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times
Telengana agitation,Andhra pradesh high cout,Dr Cheruku Sudhakar

Andhra Pradesh high court on Thursday declared as illegal the detention of Dr Cheruku Sudhakar, popularly known as poor peoples' doctor and a resident of Nakrekal in Nalgonda district, who was arrested during the October 2011 Telangana strike (for throwing stones at buses coming from coastal Andhra to Telangana) and later detained under the draconian National Security Act (NSA).

Acting on a petition filed by his wife and others, the court directed the Andhra Pradesh government to set him free on bail immediately. Dr Sudhakar, who was associated with Naxal groups in the past, is presently a politburo member of Telangana Rasthra Samiti (TRS), the Telangana-focussed sub-regional party.

The family and TRS moved the court after the state government instead of releasing him from custody, issued an order two days ago to detain him for a year under NSA. The government justified the action saying that a three-member committee headed by a retired judge evaluated Sudhakar's case and recommended his detention for another year.

A division Bench of the high court faulted the government for ordering Sudhakar's detention merely on the ground of his association with the left wing movement in the past.

The doctor's counsel told the court that Sudhakar, a practicing physician serving the poor in Nakrekal, was leading a peaceful life but was falsely implicated for taking part in the recent Sakala Janula Samme (general strike) that paralyzed life in Telangana.

The detention of Sudhakar under NSA evoked strong protests from TRS, Civil rights groups and a section of ruling party lawmakers. TRS activists staged protests across the region on Wednesday to protest the government order.

“He should not have been arrested in the first place. And using the draconian NSA to intern him for one year is totally wrong. The court has done justice, “ commented K Ramachandra Muthy, editor-in-chief of HMTV and Hans India newspapers.

First Published: Dec 08, 2011 14:08 IST