The Maharashtra government is furious over reports of “ill-treatment” of Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu and 65 others in Telugu television channels on Tuesday.

The government said Mr. Naidu was being treated like a political prisoner and was not injured or being ill-treated.

“All amenities provided”

“The Superintendent of Police and I were telling [Mr. Naidu] that we would be shifting him to Aurangabad. He said he would not move an inch. He criticised the government of Maharashtra saying that he was being treated as a criminal and a Naxalite. We have been providing him with all amenities — food, clean water and sanitation facilities. When the jailer and the security personnel asked him to board the bus, they were attacked,” Ajay Gulhane, Additional Collector, Nanded, told The Hindu on the phone.

Sandeep Karnik, Superintendent of Police, Nanded, said the MLAs banged the head of one security personnel on the wall.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil said in the Assembly that a decision on sending back Mr. Naidu would be taken in a day. The State government had extended the best facilities to Mr. Naidu and his associates, but there were complaints of ill treatment.

Mr. Patil was replying to a demand from the Opposition that Mr. Naidu was causing tension in the State and he should be sent back immediately.

The Opposition members felt that the TDP leader should have been stopped on the border itself. Mr. Naidu was spoiling the relationship the States had hitherto enjoyed. Other members demanded that the cases registered against him be withdrawn and he be sent back.

Mr. Patil said the TDP leader was allowed to enter the State to defuse the tension since there were groups of people on both sides of the border.

Cases not serious

Mr. Patil later said the cases against him were not serious and could be withdrawn. Mr. Naidu was given an air-conditioned room and the best facilities possible. The next hearing on the Babhli case in the Supreme Court is scheduled for August 10.

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