The National Human Rights Commission has directed the DGP (Director General of Police) and Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh to take appropriate action in the case of handcuffing of Amaravati farmers while moving them between jails earlier in October. Authorities have reportedly been given eight weeksâ€™ time to take action in the matter.
The NHRC was responding to a complaint from Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Association president Muppalla Subba Rao, in which he alleged that the state police had foisted cases against farmers in Amaravati to disrupt the protests against the state governmentâ€™s proposal to trifurcate the capital. Earlier, leaders from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the state Congress had also written to the NHRC, stating that the farmers being handcuffed was a violation of human rights and sought intervention from the commission.
Earlier in October, a few farmers from Amaravati protesting against the capital trifurcation, had opposed the entry of a group of farmers allegedly arriving from outside the region, to agitate in favour of the capital trifurcation. Following the confrontation, seven farmers, mainly from the villages of Penumaka and Krishnayapalem according to reports, were arrested after being booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Subba Rao, in his letter to NHRC, has also reportedly said that the police had misused their powers by booking the farmers under the Atrocities Act. Of the seven men who were arrested, five of them were from Scheduled Castes and two were from BC (Backward Classes), according to reports.
These seven men had been handcuffed as they were being moved from the Narasaraopet sub-jail to the Guntur district jail. Soon after the incident, six head constables were placed under suspension. Guntur (Rural) Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni had ordered a probe into the matter, and called the incident â€śunfortunateâ€ť.