Arrest of 8 Muslim youths in TDP public meet sparks political storm in Andhra Pradesh

While YSRCP claimed Chandrababu Naidu’s government was stifling dissent, TDP alleged that the youth were planted in the public meeting by YSRCP leaders.
Arrest of 8 Muslim youths in TDP public meet sparks political storm in Andhra Pradesh
Arrest of 8 Muslim youths in TDP public meet sparks political storm in Andhra Pradesh
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The arrest of eight Muslim youths in Andhra Pradesh earlier this week has set off a political storm in the state. The police arrested eight persons for allegedly creating disturbances during Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's speech, at a TDP Muslim outreach event titled ‘Nara Hamara-TDP Hamara’ in Guntur.

At the time, the youngsters reportedly raised slogans alleging corruption and irregularities in Wakf Board properties.

When TNM contacted the old Guntur police station, Inspector Srinivas Rao said that they were arrested as they tried to create disturbance, which could have led to a stampede-like situation.

"All of the accused who were arrested, were sent to judicial remand as they have created a disturbance, which could have breached peace," the police officer said.

Soon after the arrests, controversy was sparked when the YSRCP alleged that the TDP government was stifling dissent. The TDP hit back, claiming that the youth were paid to disrupt the event by the YSRCP.

The police said that a preliminary investigation suggested that all the accused youth hailed from Nandyal in Kurnool district and were brought to the event at the behest of a YSRCP party leader.

After local TDP leaders filed a complaint, a case was registered under Section 505 (Statements conducing public mischief) read with 120 (B) (Party to a criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.  

Despite this, the two main political parties in the state continued to point fingers at each other.

Taking to Twitter, YSRCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy said on Thursday, "Was it not you, who asked the Muslims across the State to come to the meeting in Guntur? When they came and asked you to keep the assurances you have given them in a democratic manner, should they be treated in such an inhumane manner? What wrong have they committed? Is asking where were Urdu medium schools, which were promised in the party manifesto, wrong? Is asking why free bus passes to Madrasa students and school uniforms were not provided, wrong? Is asking why you have not given cabinet berth to Muslims wrong? Is it justified to have them tortured by the police and kept at an unknown place for 30 hours? Is there no human rights in the State?"

He also demanded that the case against the youth be dropped adding that Chandrababu must issue an unconditional apology to the Muslim community.

Hitting back, TDP spokesperson Dinakar Lanka told TNM, "It is Jagan who must issue his unconditional apology to Muslim minorities and not us."

"They were brought to obstruct the meeting as per his instructions. YSRCP is scared as Muslims and minorities are with the TDP and, therefore, it is infusing such elements to create a ruckus," he alleged.

He also stated that TDP, in the last four years, has focused extensively on the welfare of minorities and has kept its promises.


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