Telangana BJP chief held over planned protest; 'murder of democracy', says saffron party

BJP president J P Nadda said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the chief of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), acted out of frustration due to the party's win in a recent bypoll

Press Trust of India January 03, 2022 21:10:54 IST
Telangana BJP chief held over planned protest; 'murder of democracy', says saffron party

File image of BJP chief JP Nadda. Twitter @BJP4India

Karimnagar (Telangana): Telangana BJP President and Lok Sabha member Bandi Sanjay Kumar was on Monday sent to 14-day judicial remand following his arrest after a foiled protest plan, with the party's national leadership dubbing the police action as "murder of democracy."

BJP President J P Nadda said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, also the chief of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) acted out of frustration due to the party's win in a recent bypoll (Huzurabad) and the popular support it has been receiving in the southern state.

Earlier, Kumar whose planned protest was foiled on Sunday for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines, was arrested on various charges including violation of provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant), police said.

Among others, he was arrested under Section 333 of the IPC (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) which is non-bailable and triable by a sessions court. He was produced before a local court on Monday afternoon.

Kumar, Lok Sabha member from Karimnagar, was taken into custody on Sunday night when he planned to undertake a 'Jagarana' protest, a night vigil, in solidarity with teachers and other government employees against a state government order on introducing a zonal system in the allocation of jobs. The order hurt the interests of the teachers and others vis-a-vis their transfers, Kumar alleged.

His arrest came against the backdrop of a bitter war of words between the TRS and the BJP over paddy procurement among other issues since November last year.

Reacting to his arrest, Nadda said the Telangana government meted out "inhuman" treatment to Kumar and BJP workers as police beat them up before taking them into custody.

"This is murder of democracy. We strongly condemn it," he said. The Telangana BJP chief was protesting peacefully at his office following all the COVID protocols, Nadda added while expressing support for the demands of teachers.

Earlier, on Sunday night, tension prevailed at the camp office of Kumar here when police forcibly entered it breaking open the office gates in the face of resistance from BJP activists.

Police had said there was no official request for permission to the planned protest and the gathering of the party workers was against the guidelines issued by the Central and state governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Saying that the protest was a peaceful event that was planned to be organised in accordance with the pandemic norms, Kumar found fault with the state government over the police action.

Why were the COVID-19 norms not implemented in the events of ruling TRS leaders, he asked.

Alleging that his rights and privileges as Member of Parliament have been infringed by certain police officials who misbehaved with him in the incident, Kumar shot off a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking action against the officials concerned. A letter was also sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah based on Kumar's instructions.

The letter alleged that the TRS government misused the entire government machinery and that an atmosphere of fear was created in the state by using police and other state machinery for political purposes and suppressing opponents. It also sought Shah's interference by way of using his good offices for restoration of the democratic process in the state.

Finding fault with Kumar for taking up the protest allegedly without permission, state minister Gangula Kamalakar on Sunday night said the state BJP president did not follow COVID-19 guidelines.

While the Centre insisted on following COVID-appropriate behaviour, Kumar did not do so, he said, according to a release.

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