Dalit Youth From Andhra Seeks President's Nod To Join Naxals After State Police Tonsure His Head, Torture Him

by M R Subramani - Aug 13, 2020 08:50 AM
Dalit Youth From Andhra Seeks President's Nod To Join Naxals After State Police Tonsure His Head, Torture Him Representative image: A Maoist rally (Wikimedia Commons) 
Snapshot
  • In his letter to the President, Prasad said he wanted to join the Maoist movement and become a Naxal as the law and order in Andhra Pradesh had failed to deliver justice to him.

A youth belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, hailing from East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his permission to join the Naxals after he was tortured and beaten up at the Seethanagaram police station last month.

Indugamilli Prasad, the youth, was summoned to the police station, about 170 km from Vijayawada, for an enquiry on 20 July after he confronted a ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader. The youth attempted to stop the illegal transportation of sand from his village by lorries belonging to the YSRCP leader.

Prasad was hospitalised after his health worsened following the incident, leading to a hue and cry being raised in the State by Opposition parties and Dalit organisations.

The youth has written the letter to the President despite State Chief Minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy instructing officials to take strict action against those responsible. The Chief Minister has also sought details of the case.

In his letter to the President, Prasad said he wanted to join the Maoist movement and become a Naxal as the law and order in Andhra Pradesh had failed to deliver justice to him.

The youth alleged that there was human rights violation in his case and action was taken only against the sub-inspector despite him naming seven persons in his first information report. (The sub-inspector had joined duty only a day before the incident occurred.)

The others named belong to the ruling party and no action had been taken against them yet, the youth complained, adding that he has not been given any compensation for his sufferings yet.

Prasad justified his move to seek permission to join the Maoists, saying it was another option for him to protect his dignity.

The President’s Secretariat has now forwarded the letter to the State Government for action.

Addressing the media yesterday (12 August), Mohan Rao, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Eluru range, said that “political forces” had motivated Prasad to resort to such a step.

Terming the development “unfortunate”, the DIG said the youth was hurt as he did not get justice for the injustice meted out to him.

A sub-inspector and constable of the police station, who were allegedly responsible for tonsuring and beating up Prasad, have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

A case under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been filed against both. The provisions of the Act ensure that they don't get bail and the onus is on them to prove that they did not commit such an offence.

The youth has now been provided security, while a police picket has been put up at his Munikudali village.

Range DIG threatens action against affected youth

Prasad’s trouble might not end soon. Rao, who alleged that some political forces motivated Prasad to write the letter to the President, said since the Maoist organisation was banned, claiming to join such an outfit was an offence.

“We will take stern action on such matters (wanting to join Naxals) as it amounts to encouraging a banned outfit. Such comments send wrong signals to the people. Freedom of expression should not be misused,” the DIG said.

In a statement on 21 July, Rao said that he had enquired about the incident. “Sitanagaram SI (sub-inspector) Shaik Feroz Shah had called on Vara Prasad for an enquiry into a case, beaten and injured him, tonsured his head and moustache,” he said.

An enquiry by the Director-General of Police followed. The sub-inspector and two constables were suspended in connection with the case.

Opposition and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu has condemned the incident, saying police who had to ensure law and order should not indulge in such acts.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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