22-year-old I Vara Prasad from Vedullapalli village in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district had written a letter to the President on August 10.
The letter requested the President to allow him to join the Maoists to get justice.
Talking to The Lede, Vara Prasad said that on July 18, an argument erupted between him and Kavala Krishna Murthy, a local YSR Congress leader. YSRC is the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh.
Vara Prasad had stopped the movement of trucks carrying sand from passing through the lane near his residence, due to a death in the area.
“The next day, allegedly at the behest of the local YSRC MLA, Seethanagaram sub-inspector Shaik Feroze Shah, along with two other constables, came to the village and took me and two others to the police station in the name of investigation. They (police) beat us severely with belts and later called a barber and got my head and moustache shaved,” said Prasad.
“Following protests by local Dalit organisations, on learning about the incident, local Deputy Superintendent of Police PSN Rao visited me in the hospital and conducted an inquiry,” he added.
An FIR has been registered from against seven persons, six of whom are YSRCP leaders. The last accused named in the FIR is sub-inspector Shah.
DSP Rao also announced the suspension with immediate effect of SI Shah and another constable under Sections 324, 323 and 506 of Indian Penal Code and also under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SCs/STs Act. He assured that stringent action would be taken against the accused.
“But till now, the YSRC leader who was the main cause for this incident has not been arrested and they are trying to divert this issue by blaming the police who joined duty 48 hours ago with no intention to humiliate me,” argued Prasad.
He alleged that many ministers of the ruling party came to him and offered money to quash the case but none of them promised serious action against the accused.
“I have also approached the DGP and Principal Secretary – Home, but justice is not being offered. Since no justice has been done to protect my dignity, I thought I would seek it by joining Naxalism. Hence, I wrote a letter to the President of India seeking his permission to allow me to join the Maoists for justice,” he said.
“I am happy that the President responded to my plea within 24 hours and appointed Assistant Secretary Janardhan Babu to investigate this case,” said Prasad.
Talking to The Lede, Seethanagaram police said – “An FIR has been registered and the investigation is in process. Presently all the accused have absconded. Soon we will catch hold of them,” said an official who did not wish to be named.
The Lede attempted to reach YSRC leader Kavala Krishna Murthy repeatedly but he declined to comment on the subject.
Social activist Lubna Sarwath told The Lede that the grievance of every Indian cannot be solved by writing a letter to the President.
“In this case when the SP suspended the two police persons the case should have gone at a faster pace. YSR Congress announced many committees and volunteers at many levels and every village. Since they were appointed by the YSRC party, will they not function against their own people in need of justice?
Strengthening of the system is required. Everyone cannot write a letter to the President saying they will join Naxals or will commit suicide. According to law, the SP reacted and suspended the police personnel. Why can he not take similar action against the ruling party workers?
Police are giving excuses by saying the accused are absconding. When they know that the accused are from the ruling party why didn’t they take Home Minister’s help and speed up the process?” she asked.