In a shocking incident, three youngsters were allegedly abducted by henchmen of Gajapathinagaram MLA K Appala Naidu for mocking him over WhatsApp.
After the abduction, the youngsters were later handed over to police, who arrested them.
The arrested youngsters Damisetti Chinna Rao, Narikela Venkatesam and Mamidi Manikantha printed pamphlets with photos of the TDP MLA Appala Naidu with the message, “MLA is missing. Whether or not he is alive?”(sic).
They then shared the image on WhatsApp, as a form of protest, to point out that the MLA had not fulfilled his poll promises, The Hindu reported.
As the photo was widely shared on social media, TDP supporters filed a complaint with the police.
The Times of India reported that the youth were kidnapped on Thursday and were handed over to police, the next day.
The youngsters were arrested under Section 41 of the CRPC (cognizable offence) based on the complaint by TDP leader Ravi Sridhar.
This comes after the Andhra government has been cracking down on people posting 'objectionable' content on social media, against the state's ruling TDP.
In May, the Visakhapatnam police picked up a Bengaluru-based software professional, Ippala Ravindra, after he allegedly posted some objectionable comments against Payakaraopeta MLA V Anitha.
Reports stated that Ravindra was apprehended under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and not under the IT Act, as the legislator is also a Dalit.
Many people claimed that Ravindra was on the YSRCP's payroll, as his page was filled with material that supported the party and YS Jagan. However, the party denied the allegations.
This arrest also came one week after the Andhra police arrested political satirist Ravi Kiran, after the same MLA filed a complaint against a 'defamatory' post on his Facebook page.
Ravi Kiran runs a Facebook page called 'Political Punch', which has more than 1 lakh followers, and is popular among critics of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Many people have pointed out that several posts on the Facebook page 'Political Punch', were insensitive, and in bad taste.
Ravi Kiran claimed that he was being targeted by the TDP government, because he was criticising them.