The Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union (APVVU) has demanded the release of State secretary J. Bapuji, alleging that his arrest was in violation of the fundamental right of freedom of association.

Mr. Bapuji was leading a campaign for the implementation of Forest Rights Act, in which Adivasis of Jillellagudem in West Godavari district were demanding pattas (title deeds) for land.

Cases booked

In a statement here, union secretary P. S. Ajay Kumar and P. Chennaiah said local politicians and tribal landlords were opposing the issue of pattas and alleged that under their influence cases were booked by the Forest Department on June 4. But no information was given to the union about the case.

Lift ‘false cases’

On Saturday, when A P Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union workers were making arrangements for a meeting to which secretary of Human Rights Forum V.S. Krishna was invited, policemen led by Jeelugumilli sub-inspector arrested Mr. Bapuji.

The union, while demanding the lifting of ‘false cases’ and issue of pattas to tribals, urged people’s organisations to send protest letters to the district Collector and the Superintendent of Police of West Godavari district.

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