A Dalit activist has accused the Andhra Pradesh police of subjecting J Srinivasa Rao to third-degree torture, and has filed a petition with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Thursday. The activist, B Ram Prasad, alleged that Srinivasa, who stands accused of attacking Leader of Opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, faces a threat to his life.
Responding to the petition filed by Prasad, president of Mala Sankshema Sangham, the NCSC has issued summons to Andhra Pradesh DGP, RP Thakur to submit the facts and information on the allegation within 30 days.
Speaking to TNM, Prasad said, “A man who was healthy, during detention was bound to a wheelchair when [the police] brought him to hospital. Seeing the videos of him at the hospital, it is evident that the police are subjecting him to extreme torture. Police have also violated the rules without producing him before the judicial magistrate and taking him directly to the hospital. While taking to hospital in a wheelchair, he (Srinivasa) made it clear that his life is in danger. He faces threat from both YSRCP and the TDP,” he alleged.
Srinivasa is currently under police custody. Four days ago, when the police brought Srinivasa to KGH hospital for a medical check-up in a wheelchair, he repeatedly yelled, “There is a threat to my life.” However, the investigation officer B V S Nageshwar Rao denied these allegations.
Prasad pointed out that Srinivasa had become a scapegoat in the political battle between YSRCP and TDP. He added that the investigation should be carried out in a fair manner, without exercising police brutality on Srinivasa.
Srinivasa belongs to the SC Mala community. Prasad stated that Dalits are vulnerable and subjected to extreme brutality because marginalised communities lack the power to question authorities.
On October 25, YSRCP president and Leader of Opposition, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy was allegedly attacked with a knife used in cockfights by Srinivasa Rao at Vizag airport. Srinivasa, who was working at a coffee shop in the airport, requested for a selfie and then allegedly attacked Jagan with a knife. The attack left Jagan injured in the left arm. Immediately after the attack, the airport security detained Srinivasa and handed him over to police.
This attack has led to political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh, with the YSRCP and BJP, accusing the TDP of planning the attack and not providing adequate security, while the TDP is accusing both parties of orchestrating the ‘drama’ to create a law and order situation in the state. Police also stated that the accused is an admirer of Jagan.