BJP leader and former MLA A Papareddy on Wednesday, November 3, allegedly slapped a police constable for preventing him from burning the effigy of former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during a protest rally. In a video, which has gone viral, the BJP leader is seen shoving and slapping constable Raghavendra attached with Raichur West Police Station and was not in police uniform at that time. The incident occurred during a statewide protest organised by the BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha on Wednesday, November 3 against veteran Congress leader Siddaramaiah over a statement he made during a public meeting at Sindagi on October 26. Siddaramaiah had reportedly said that many Dalit leaders were joining the BJP to secure their livelihood.
As the argument heated up, senior police officers intervened and distanced Papareddy from the constable. Later speaking to reporters, Papareddy said he was not aware that the man in civil dress was a police constable and perceived him as a BJP worker. He alleged that the constable snatched the effigy and threw it in a drain, which irked him. When asked whether he would apologise for his action, the former MLA said, "Why should I apologise? There should be action against him (constable). He should have been humble. Why did he come in civil dress, stood among us like an ordinary party worker, snatched the effigy and ran away?"
Seeking to know the reason behind the constable allegedly running away with the effigy, Papareddy said he just 'shoved' and scolded him. Papareddy also demanded action against Raghavendra suspecting his motives behind interrupting a "usual tradition of burning effigies, which existed for the past 50 years".
Following the incident, District Superintendent of Police Nikhil B said police will take action against the former legislator. Speaking to the The Times of India, the SP said that a First Information Report (FIR) was already registered against Papareddy.
(With IANS inputs)