Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay arrested amid high drama, sent to judicial custody

The Karimnagar MP had planned an overnight protest against Government Order (GO) number 317 that concerns introducing a zonal system in the allocation of jobs.
Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar who was arrested amid high drama, sent to judicial custody
Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar who was arrested amid high drama, sent to judicial custody
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Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who had planned to stage a protest, was taken into custody by the police in Karimnagar on Sunday, January 2, for allegedly violating the state government's guidelines to curb COVID-19, attacking police personnel and violating the Disaster Management Act. The Member of Parliament from Karimnagar had planned to undertake a 'jagarana deeksha’ (overnight event) at his office in Karimnagar town between 9 pm on January 2 to 5 am on January 3, against the state Government Order (GO) number 317 that concerns introducing a zonal system in the allocation of jobs. According to reports, the Karimnagar district court has remanded Bandi Sanjay to 14 days of judicial custody. 

Amid high drama and tension on the night of January 2, police foiled Bandi Sanjay's jagarana deeksha at his camp office. The MP, who was kept at Manakondur Police Station overnight, was on Monday, January 3, shifted to the Police Training Centre in Karimnagar town. Karimnagar Police Commissioner Satyanarayana had told reporters that the MP and other arrested persons will be produced in a court after COVID-19 tests. 

Tension prevailed at the Police Training Centre as a large number of BJP workers gathered there to protest over Sanjay's arrest. They raised slogans against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and the Karimnagar Police Commissioner. The protesters entered into an argument with the police officers, following which they were detained by the police.

Karimnagar Police Commissioner Satyanarayana said two FIRs were registered at Two Town Police Station. In one case, 21 persons and others were booked under section 51 (B) of Disaster Management Act and section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for not maintaining social distance and for not wearing masks. At least 70 people were arrested and were released after issuing notices to them, he added.

In another case, 16 persons and others were booked for rioting and attacking police personnel besides violation of Disaster Management Act. Five persons including Bandi Sanjay have been arrested in this case. The police invoked sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333, 149, 147 of the IPC and section 5(B) of Disaster Management Act

The police chief said several policemen including an Assistant Commissioner of Police and a Circle Inspector were injured in the alleged attacks by BJP workers. He alleged that despite repeated requests to abide by the COVID-19 regulations which are in force, the MP and others went ahead with their programme violating rules and then resorted to rioting and attacked police personnel performing their duty.

Police had refused permission for the Karimnagar MP's protest citing the orders in force banning meetings, rallies and other public gatherings. The party had set up a stage outside the MP's office for the 10-hour long protest. Sanjay, however, managed to enter into his office along with his supporters, and locked it from inside to stop police from entering the premises. High tension prevailed as the MP's supporters threatened self-immolation if the police foil their protest.

The police personnel broke into the office. The MP and his supporters tried to resist the arrests. Police used force to arrest Sanjay and scores of others and shift them to waiting police vehicles. While Sanjay was taken to Manakondur Police Station outside the town, other arrested BJP leaders and workers were shifted to other police stations.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Minister Eatala Rajender has condemned Sanjay's arrest. He termed the arrest as undemocratic. He said the MP was sitting on the protest peacefully in his office but the police resorted to high handedness at the instance of the state government. He also said that the TRS government was curbing all opposition in the guise of COVID-19 curbs. 

BJP president J P Nadda lashed out at the Telangana government on January 3 over Bandi Sanjay’s arrest. He said Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was acting in frustration due to the BJP's win in the recent byepoll in Huzurabad. 

With PTI and IANS inputs 

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