Member of Parliament and Telangana Congress Working President A Revanth Reddy was arrested by the Cyberabad police on Thursday, and sent to judicial remand for 14 days. The arrest was in connection with a suo motu case filed by the Cyberabad police against the Malkajgiri MP for violating privacy by taking photographs and visuals of a farmhouse allegedly owned by Minister K T Rama Rao in Janwada village on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The Congress MP was booked along with ten other persons on Wednesday by the police for allegedly hiring a drone for a photoshoot of the private premises and releasing it to the media.
Revanth, who was in Delhi at the time the case was booked, arrived in Hyderabad post-noon on Thursday and â€śsurrenderedâ€ť at Narsangi police station.
â€śWe have taken him into judicial custody and presented him before a magistrate. He has been taken to Cherlapally jail and remanded for 14 days,â€ť the Cyberabad police said.
Since January this year, Revanth has been accusing Telangana Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD), KT Rama Rao, who is also the son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, of building a farmhouse in violation of government norms.
Revanth claims that the 25 acres that the farmhouse sits on, is in violation of Government Order (GO) 111, which prohibits any construction or industrial activity with a 10-km radius of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar reservoirs.
The Congress party insists that the farmhouse taken on lease in KTR's wifeâ€™s name is indirectly owned by the minister through a proxy.
To prove his claims, on March 1, the MP had allegedly hired a drone operator to capture the visuals. The visuals shot by the drone were sent to Revanth over WhatsApp and later released to the media, police said.
On March 3, Revanth along with former MP Vishweshwar Reddy, attempted to approach the farmhouse and were briefly taken into preventive custody.
The police on March 4 registered a suo motu case against Revanth under Sections 184 (obstructing sale of property offered for sale by authority of public servant), 187 (omission to assist public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He was also booked under Sections 287, for using a drone in an unauthorised manner and Section 120, for criminal conspiracy under the IPC.
Speaking to TNM, Telangana Congress spokesperson Kiran Reddy alleged vendetta politics and said that the Section 120 for criminal conspiracy was added to 'teach Revanth a lesson'.
"Using a drone is an unauthorised manner is a bailable offence, but section 120 for criminal conspiracy has made the offence non-bailable. This is intentional to divert the public's attention. The state government doesnâ€™t want the public to find that those in the government itself have done encroachment," Kiran alleged.
â€śThe issue is getting diverted to the arrest. The Telangana High Court has just last week pulled up MAUD over illegal encroachments. We will be taking up this issue of encroachment by the minister with the court,â€ť said Kiran, who further alleged that the party sourced land record details from Janwada village revenue office and found that KTRâ€™s mother-in-law and wife possess properties in the village.
â€śSome people close to the family have also acquired land," he added.
The Telangana Congress hopes to get their Working President out of jail on Friday. â€śOur lawyers will try for bail on Friday morning itself but if things get delayed, he may be released on bail only by Monday,â€ť Kiran said.
State Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party leaders condemned the arrest of Revanth Reddy, saying the action had been taken for questioning ruling TRS leaders. The Lok Sabha Speaker was informed about the arrest of the MP, they added.