Hours after the Hyderabad High Court expressed unhappiness over the arrest of Telangana Working President Revanth Reddy in the middle of the night, the Election Commission of India has ordered the transfer of the Superintendent of Police who ordered Revanth’s arrest on Tuesday. Vikarabad SP T Annapurna has been replaced by Avinash Mohanthy, a 2005 batch IPS officer, with immediate effect.
The ECI letter has directed that IPS Mohanthy take over charge from 2 pm on December 5, 2018.
“Smt T Annapurna IPS is hereby directed to hand over the charge to Sri Avinash Mohanty immediately and shall report to her HQs. It is also directed that the services of Smt Annapurna IPS shall not be utilised for election purposes,” the Election Commission notice adds.
Revanth Reddy was arrested at 3 am on Tuesday, December 4, from his residence ahead of caretaker CM K Chandrasekhar Rao's election rally at Kosgi in Kodangal constituency. The police had stated that it was a preventive arrest on the orders of the Election Commission as Revanth had appealed to the people in his constituency to boycott the meeting by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and hold protests in the area.
After he was taken into custody, Revanth filled a lunch motion in the High Court against his arrest. The Hyderabad High Court, while hearing the motion, had voiced its unhappiness over the manner the Congress leader was arrested in the middle of the night and asked the Telangana government what was the need for taking Revanth into custody.
The court observed that there was nothing wrong in Revanth calling for a shutdown and asked the police to provide evidence to justify its action. After KCR's rally in the evening, police released Revanth Reddy.
Revanth Reddy alleged that the TRS had hatched a plan to create disturbances in Kodangal in the next 48 hours. He claimed that KCR was using police to suppress the opposition and was using money to influence the voters.
Revanth had called for a shutdown in Kodangal to protest against police raids at his house last week. The Election Commission had also issued a notice to Reddy over his threat. A police officer said a case was booked against Revanth Reddy on a complaint by the Electoral Officer.
The Congress party strongly condemned the arrest of its leader and lodged a complaint with the Election Commission. It said with just a day for the campaigning to come to an end, their leader was denied an opportunity to campaign.
Click here to follow TNM's coverage of the Telangana Assembly Elections 2018.