Forty-four-year-old Sampath Saidulu, a Dalit man from Hyderabad’s Quthbullapur, has alleged that he is facing harassment from the relatives of local legislator and TRS leader KP Vivekanand Goud, for not giving up a small piece of land. The MLA, however, denied that the men involved in the row are his relatives.
Saidulu, who belongs to the Madiga community which is categorised as Scheduled Caste in Telangana, bought the land from one Samala Yadi Reddy in 2015 for Rs 20 lakh. However, Saidulu says that ever since he purchased the land, he has been facing hostility from his neighbour, Jairaj Goud, who is allegedly a relative of the legislator. In 2018, when Saidulu started building his house, the construction activity was allegedly obstructed by Jairaj Goud and his relatives. Following this, Saidulu says MLA Vivekanand Goud held a deliberation with him and asked him to exchange his 88 square feet of land for another piece of land.
“The MLA said, ‘We want that land, I will show you a vacant government land. You can construct your house there’. He wanted my land for free. He didn’t even make an offer to purchase it,” Saidulu alleges.
Defying the MLA’s diktat, Saidulu began constructing the house. He alleges that shortly afterwards a part of his house was demolished by the GHMC claiming that it was an illegal construction. A case regarding this is pending in the Telangana High Court.
Saidulu says despite this he remained firm in not giving up his land, which he had bought after selling properties he owned in his native Nalgonda. He accuses the MLA’s alleged relatives – Jairaj Goud, Praveen Goud and Srikanth Goud – of hounding him and even defecating at his under-construction house to harass and humiliate him.
“They want to force me to leave the house by humiliating me and harassing me mentally and physically,” Saidulu tells TNM.
The incident took place earlier in February. Subsequently, Saidulu filed a complaint with the Jeedimetla police station in this regard. On 26 February, the police pressed several charges against the accused including trespassing, criminal intimidation, provocation and under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The case was being investigated by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Balanagar division, K Purushotham. However, even after seven months the police have made no attempt to arrest the accused, Saidulu says. He has even written to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes Commission in this regard.
Saidulu demands the immediate arrest of the accused so that his children will remain safe. “I want justice. How can my children be safe if these criminals are not arrested?” he asks.
Responding to the allegations, ACP Purushotham told TNM, “We cannot disclose the status of the case. We will submit our investigation report to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes Commission.”
When TNM contacted MLA Vivekanand Goud, he said, “I have nothing to do in this entire incident. The problem is between Saidulu and his neighbour. And the neighbour belongs to my community, he is not my relative. The allegations against me are absolutely false. It is a ridiculous claim that I want his land. Saidulu has approached various statutory bodies, and since all his claims seem to have no evidence, he has resorted to this campaign to malign me.”
Meanwhile, Saidulu, who has used Twitter as a medium to demand justice, has received nearly Rs 1 lakh in donations to rebuild his house.