Pattabhi Ram was arrested after his remarks triggered a huge backlash from alleged supporters of the YSRCP, who attacked TDP offices across the state.

A file image of TDP leader Pattabhi RamImage: Pattabhi Ram/Facebook
news Controversy Friday, October 22, 2021 - 08:42

A Vijayawada court on Thursday, October 21, sent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) spokesman K Pattabhi Ram to judicial custody for 14 days for allegedly using abusive words against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Pattabhi was arrested on Wednesday night and produced in front of the Third Additional Metropolitan Court, which remanded him to judicial custody for two weeks. The opposition party leader was subsequently shifted to Machilipatnam Jail in Krishna district. After the arrest from his house amid high drama, Pattabhi was taken to Thotlavalluru Police Station.

The TDP leader's lawyer moved a bail petition but the government's counsel opposed the same citing several cases booked against him in the past. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the magistrate rejected the bail plea and sent him to judicial custody. Meanwhile, Pattabhi said he was not beaten up by  the police during his custody. He, however, denied that he used any abusive word against the Chief Minister or any other leader and said he was only highlighting the government's failures.

The arrest of Pattabhi came days after his remarks triggered a huge backlash from alleged supporters of ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) who attacked the TDP's central office at Mangalagiri in Amaravati and party offices in other parts of the state. Pattabhi Ram's house was also attacked by unidentified people on Tuesday. Pattabhi's wife Chandra said he was arrested by policemen after they broke open the door. She said if anything happened to him, the government would be responsible.

According to the police, the TDP leader was arrested in connection with a case booked against him at Governorpet Police Station. He was booked under sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 505 (2) (Statements conducing to public mischief), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, speaking at an event on Thursday, CM YS Jagan alleged that certain political elements were trying to brand the youth of the state as drug addicts, while referring to the allegations that it had become home for ganja cultivation, even as the Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu demanded President's rule.

The CM further said that  branding the youth as drug addicts is the "most serious crime". He said that some vested interests are publicising only to "conspire against the state government" despite the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Andhra Pradesh DGP, and Vijayawada Police Commissioner have clarified that Andhra Pradesh has no links with drug cases.

Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu who sat on a 36-hour Deeksha (protest) said that the situation is ripe for imposing President's rule in the state. Naidu said, ‚ÄúTelugu Desam Party was never in favour of imposition of Article 356. We never asked for the imposition of the President's rule. But today there are a series of incidents. There were organised attacks (on TDP offices). That's why we are asking to impose Article 356. As the law and order completely failed, we are asking for President's rule,‚ÄĚ Naidu said.

(With Inputs from IANS and PTI)
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