Several police complaints have been filed against Chintamaneni across the state seeking action against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Activists demand arrest of TDP MLA Chintamaneni for casteist remarks against DalitsImage:Facebook
news Controversy Friday, February 22, 2019 - 18:27

The row over the alleged casteist remarks by controversial TDP MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar against Dalit communities doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. A small clip of a video in which Chintamaneni was seen making certain remarks has gone viral on social media triggering huge outrage from Dalit communities and opposition parties.

Several police complaints have been filed against Chintamaneni across the state seeking action against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. 

The MLA was reportedly speaking in his constituency Denduluru in November last year, following a minor political commotion. With the video emerging recently, the party and the MLA are facing criticism for the assertion that Dalits don’t need to be involved in politics. 

“Politically you should remember something. You are Dalits. You all are downtrodden. You belong to Scheduled Castes. Politics is for us (Kammas). The leadership posts are reserved for us. Then why the f*#k are you fighting?” he said addressing Dalits.

However, even as the police complaints and protests mounted against the legislator, the MLA has complained to the police alleging that the video has been doctored/manipulated by rivals in the YSRCP to suit their interests. 

Andhra Pradesh SC/ST Lawyers Forum, an organisation of SC/ST advocates has filed a complaint with Kurnool police alleging that Chintamaneni has humiliated and degraded the Dalit communities. 

"We are not treating your humiliating and derogatory comments as a mistake. We perceive it as your upper caste arrogance, as you have done so by thinking you have the power to talk anything,” the organisation’s President Jaya Raju Yeggoni said.  

He further asked CM Chandrababu Naidu to suspend him and all other MLAs who make such derogatory comments against Dalits, from the party, if he respects Dr BR Ambedkar and Dalits.

Yeggoni demanded immediate "arrest and prosecution" of Chintamaneni under SC/ST (PoA) Act, along with charges of intimidating and threatening the community.

While a case has been registered and one person, Kattula Ravi Kumar, West Godavari district YSRCP general secretary, has been arrested on charges of sharing a "doctored" video, police are yet to take any action against Chintamaneni.

Human Rights Forum (HRF) State Committee has condemned the comments calling them "shameless and feudal” and has also criticised CM Naidu for not taking any action.

K Sudha, General Secretary and Jayashree, Vice President in a joint statement condemning the obnoxious arrest of a person on charges of "editing" the video, said, "When cutting a five minute video itself is a crime, how big a crime is it of the person(Chintamaneni) to talk in such language?"

They further stated that when even the police didn't deny that he has made those remarks, "Why didn't they file a case against him? Why did't they arrest him? Police should immediately do these two things.”

TNM has learnt that police haven't yet registered any case against Chintamaneni with regard to his "casteist comments". While a complaint was lodged with Kurnool police, Two town Inspector said they're seeking legal opinion on the case. Eluru DSP said there are no fresh developments and Narsapur DSP said, "We don't have any complaint in this regard.”

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