Avula Manohar was allegedly attacked by henchmen of Rayadurg MLA Kapu Ramachandra Reddy.

I was attacked for writing against YSRCP MLA AP journalist files complaintMLA Kapu Ramchandra Reddy
news Crime Monday, August 26, 2019 - 17:04

A reporter employed with a Telugu news channel – MAHA News, was on Sunday, allegedly attacked by henchmen of the Rayadurg MLA Kapu Ramchandra Reddy. At around 4 pm, journalist Avula Manohar was allegedly attacked for publishing news articles that criticised Ramachandra Reddy.

A video of Avula Manohar speaking about the alleged attack has gone viral on social media. Manohar can be seen sporting injuries on his head in the video.

“As I reached the Anantapur main road via the bypass road from my house near Uma Dhaba, eight YSRCP party men, who are associates of local MLA Ramchandra Reddy, stopped my bike and took my cellphones and video camera and beaten me up with stones and rods," Avula Manohar said in the video.  

Manohar alleged that the men questioned him about the news items he had published, which criticised the MLA and threatened to kill him. “They said, ‘how dare you write against Ramchandra Reddy’. They beat me up and told me that they had decided to kill me,” Avula said in the video.

Manohar also claimed that the MLA was angry with him as he had raised several local issues on social media while holding Ramachandra Reddy accountable for it.

“What crime have I committed? If you (MLA Ramachandra Reddy) are angry, show it on other political parties but why on me? I'm after all a reporter,” Avula Manohar claimed.

TNM tried to contact Avula Manohar but could not reach him for a comment. His colleague, M Ramanjaneyulu, a reporter with the MAHA News told TNM that Manohar was attacked for his fearlessness in reporting issues that irked powerful men in the region.

“Manohar reported on the sand mafia and corrupt deals of local politicians. He told us that four out of eight people who attacked him were associated with the YSRCP MLA," Ramanjaneyulu said.

Several journalist unions in Anantapur district have taken to protesting against the attack and have demanded justice for Manohar. A representation was submitted to the district police authorities demanding that action be initiated against the attackers.

However, police officials said that it's premature to attribute the blame on anyone before conducting a probe.

"Soon after the incident came to our notice, we registered a case against unidentified persons under section 394 (causing voluntary hurt in committing a robbery) of the IPC. The case is under investigation, no one has been arrested so far with regard to the incident." Kalyanadurg DySP Venkata Ramana told TNM.

Manohar is currently undergoing treatment for his injuries at a local hospital and is stable. Rayadurg MLA, Kapu Ramchandra Reddy, however, refuted the allegations against him.

Speaking to TNM he said, “This is a clear design to bring disrepute to me. I have been busy with the developmental projects in my constituency. Neither my people nor I have anything to do with the incident.”

Ramachandra Reddy claimed that all the media reports against him was a campaign to malign his reputation and that he is not bothered about them. “People in Rayadurg know me well. There have been many reports in many Telugu channels against me as I'm in the YSRCP. This is being done to cause harm to my political career. I never bothered to react to these reports. Why would I even think about this person?" he questioned.

Earlier this month YSRCP MLA from Nellore, Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy was booked for allegedly barging into the house of a journalist and trying to intimidate him. Dolendra Prasad, a senior journalist and editor of Zamin Ryot, a Telugu weekly, alleged that MLA Kotamreddy allegedly attacked him for a report he has written about the MLAs abusive behaviour towards Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

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