Former Denduluru MLA from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Chintamaneni Prabhakar, is absconding and the Andhra Pradesh police have launched a manhunt, as he failed to appear before a court in Eluru on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, the police had filed a case against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as well as other sections of the IPC, for attacking one Cheruku Joseph on August 30, when the TDP was staging a protest against the state government's sand policy.
According to media reports, policemen in plainclothes had been deployed at the Eluru court and in other public places, to nab Chintamaneni, but he failed to show up for the hearing.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Chintamaneni claimed that he was wrongly named in the case despite the fact that the clash broke out amongst Dalit people in the village, over an unrelated issue. He called the case ‘political vendetta’ by the ruling YSRCP government.
He alleged that the case was filed to deter him from staging protests against the Andhra government, and especially its new sand policy.
“We, the leaders and cadres of TDP, are not scared of your government just because you foist cases against us by influencing a few people," he had said earlier. While he was detained initially, reports stated that he managed to give the police a slip, and has been on the run since.
Chintamaneni is no stranger to controversy and has earlier physically assaulted police constables and even slapped a man over a torn poster of former CM Chandrababu Naidu.
In February this year, the politician faced severe criticism after he told a gathering of Dalits that they don’t need to be involved in politics.
“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 are you fighting?" he had said.