Karimnagar (Telangana): Telangana BJP president and Lok Sabha member Bandi Sanjay Kumar was Monday sent to 14-day judicial remand. He was arrested after police foiled a protest plan. The BJP’s national leadership dubbed the police action as ‘murder of democracy’.
BJP president JP Nadda said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, also the chief of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) acted out of frustration. This is due to the party’s win in a recent by-poll (Huzurabad) and the popular support it has been receiving in the southern state.
Earlier, Kumar’s planned protest was foiled Sunday for alleged violation of Covid-19 guidelines. Sanjay Kumar 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 can be tried by a sessions court. Kumar was produced before a local court Monday afternoon.
Kumar, Lok Sabha member from Karimnagar, was taken into custody Sunday night. He was planning 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.
Kumar’s 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. Nadda said police beat them up mercilessly before taking them into custody.
“This is murder of democracy. We strongly condemn it,” Nadda said. “The Telangana BJP chief was protesting peacefully at his office following all the Covid-19 protocols,” Nadda added.
Earlier, Sunday night, tension prevailed at the camp office of Kumar here when police forcibly entered it breaking open the gates in the face of resistance from BJP activists.
Police had said there was no official request for permission to the planned protest. So the gathering of the party workers was against the guidelines issued by the Central and state governments to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Kumar however, said the protest was a peaceful event that was planned to be organised in accordance with the pandemic norms. He Kumar found fault with the Telengana government over the police action. “Why were Covid-19 norms not implemented in the events of ruling TRS leaders,” Kumar asked.
Kumar also alleged that his rights and privileges as Member of Parliament have been infringed by certain police officials. They 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.
Finding fault with Kumar for taking up the protest allegedly without permission, state minister Gangula Kamalakar Sunday night said the state BJP president did not follow Covid-19.