DPO lodges complaint; alleges attack and raid of his house

Telugu Desam Party legislator Chintamaneni Prabhakara Rao from Denduluru in West Godavari district finds himself at the centre of controversy in the case of alleged manhandling of a district-level officer from the Panchayat Raj Department.

The Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Officers' Association has spearheaded a campaign for the arrest of the MLA for allegedly subjecting the District Panchayat Officer Varaprasada Rao to criminal intimidation. The department employees staged a demonstration in the city on Monday, with an appeal to the police top brass to arrest Mr. Prabhakara Rao immediately.

The DPO lodged a complaint with the police that a mob of protesters raided his residence under the leadership of the TDP MLA and assaulted him during a recent late night protest in connection with a case of revival of cheque powers of the Ankannagudem village sarpanch.

Fears threat to life

In the complaint, he said he hid himself in a bathroom fearing threat to his life. The III-Town police registered a case under Section 353 (subjecting a public servant to criminal intimidation while discharging official duties), among others. The MLA led a protest, questioning the action of the DPO who reportedly revived the cheque powers of the sarpanch of the ruling party under political pressure. The Collector had cancelled his cheque powers on the charge of misuse of funds.

In a related case, the role of the same MLA in the protest over the plight of paddy growers some time ago became controversial leading to registration of a case against him in the Eluru rural police station. The case was foisted against the MLA under Section 353 on the charge of manhandling police officers on duty.

Subsequently, the Andhra Pradesh Police Officers' Association district branch condemned the alleged unruly behaviour of the MLA and demanded his arrest. The Eluru DSP said both the cases were under investigation and the MLA's arrest would depend on the outcome of the investigations.

Charge denied

Meanwhile, Ramesh, convener of the TDP district legal cell denied the charge of manhandling of the officer, involving his party MLA. He alleged that the DPO was playing into the hands of a section of Congress leaders who intended to malign the image of Mr. Prabhakar in systematic way for quite some time.