Former Andhra Minister and Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham visited the Garagaparru village on Thursday, and interacted with Dalits in the area, who had faced an alleged social boycott for close to two months.
The Dalits had alleged that they had been ostracised by some upper caste men, after they proposed to install a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in the heart of the village.
After interacting with locals, Mudragada traveled to the residence of former Andhra MP GV Harsha Kumar in Rajamahendravaram.
Kumar had begun a hunger strike on Wednesday, to demand the arrest of the accused that subjected Dalits in Garagaparru village to a social boycott.
Addressing media persons at Rajamahendravaram, Mudragada hit out at Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, and said that his inaction had aggravated the issue.
“Neither had the CM directed the Collector or SP to go to the village nor had any official gone there to assess the plight of the Dalits...Dr. Ambedkar does not belong to one caste. I erected his statue in my house and gave order for making Damodaram Sanjeevaiah’s statue to be installed next to it. What is wrong in installing [it] in the middle of the village?” he was quoted as saying.
Last week, the village witnessed high drama, with lower castes taking to the streets and staging roadblocks.
Section 144 was imposed in the area, as armed pickets and several policemen were deployed to avoid untoward incidents.
They Dalits had gone ahead and installed Ambedkar’s statue on the night of April 24, despite not getting ‘permission’ from village elders, only to see it removed soon, by unknown persons.
Following the incident, they alleged that they had not been getting any labour work, and they were not being given agricultural land on lease, and were socially boycotted.
Meanwhile, the police arrested three people in connection with the case on Thursday.
According to reports, District SP M Ravi Prakash said that the three persons were identified as Indukuri Balaramakrishnamraju, Mudunuri Ramaraju and K Srinivas.
This comes after a police case had earlier been registered against the accused under Section 341 (Wrongful Restraint), 506 r/w 34 (Criminal Intimidation) of the IPC, and the SC/ST(Prevention Of Atrocities) Act.