news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | June 4, 2014 | 7.05 pm IST

Aam Aadmi Party Lok Sabha candidate for Bangalore Urban seat Ravikrishna Reddy has been sent to two days custody for joining the protests of Mandur’s villagers against garbage being dumped in a landfill in their village.

Bangalore Rural Superintendent of Police Ramesh Bhanot told The News Minute that he had been arrested by the Avalahalli Police and had been sent to two days judicial custody.

According officials in the Avalahalli police station in Bangalore Rural district, cases have been registered against 58 people under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code, after they assembled to protest after Section 144 was imposed in the area.

According to Bhanot, it was the Tahsildar of the KR Puram who declared prohibitory orders due to a “law and order situation” on Tuesday evening. Villagers say that the police arrested villagers early in the morning.

Srinivas, a resident of the village told The News Minute that the police had arrested several people at around 5 am and that most of them were women. However, he said that villagers did not know what was going on and exactly who had been arrested even until around 6 pm.

Residents of Mandur village have been protesting for the last three days, against the dumping of garbage in a 169-acre landfill in their village. The landfill was the result of an agreement between the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike nine years ago.

Mandur Gram Panchayat Secretary Veeregowda had told The News Minute a few days ago that last year the BBMP had sought one year’s time to resolve the problems created by a landfill into which nearly 400 lorries dump garbage every day.

A resident of the village Rakesh Gowda said that the air and water quality had steadily been de-graded over the years and that the elderly were falling sick because of the pollution.

State President of the AAP Prithvi Reddy told The News Minute that the AAP had been in Mandur since Sunday and that as of 5.30 pm, the police were refusing to tell them where Ravikrishna Reddy had been detained.

When this correspondent spoke to Bhanot, he said that Ravikrishna Reddy had been arrested and not detained by the police, and that he had even been sent to judicial custody for two days.

Asked why Section 144 had been imposed for a protest for stopping garbage disposal, Bhanot said it was because of the law and order situation but that it was a decision of the revenue officials and not the police.

Prithvi Reddy of the AAP said that the situation in Mandur was “almost like someone dumping garbage in their (Mandur residents’) houses”. He said that imposing Section 144 on the villagers was “unfair” as people had the “right to protest”. He said that things had taken such a turn because the garbage mafia was involved and that both the Congress and the BJP “had a finger in the pie” and that “they all shared the spoils”.

He said alleged that there were a lot of irregularities in the business of waste disposal. “It is public money and it must be accounted for,” Prithvi Reddy said. “They (garbage contractor mafia) must be hauled in (jailed), not the protesting villagers,” he said.

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