HYDERABAD: The row between the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) and a Telugu daily Andhra Jyothi took a dramatic turn on Tuesday, when police arrested the newspaper Editor K. Srinivas and two reporters under the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The arrest of the journalists was based on a complaint lodged by MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga. He had alleged that the action of Andhra Jyothi staffers in beating up an effigy, symbolising him, with footwear attracted the provisions of the Act. This alleged incident took place near Jubilee Hills check-post during a rally taken out by the newspaper employees in protest against the attack on their office by MRPS activists on May 26.
The MRPS activists allegedly raided the daily’s office, protesting against a report describing some unnamed leaders belonging to the backward classes as ‘saleable commodities.’
Tuesday’s high drama unfolded in the afternoon, when police summoned two reporters of the daily to the Jubilee Hills station and announced their arrest. The newspaper staff rushed there and objected to the manner in which the arrests were carried out. The police then took the arrested reporters to the daily’s office in Jubilee Hills, where arguments continued for well over two hours over the propriety of the arrests.
Police maintained that they got legal opinion, which said there was a prima facie case against the three journalists.
The staff and journalists who rushed to the newspaper office mobbed the police team and raised slogans condemning the arrests. After several rounds of protests, police took away the arrested journalists to the Jubilee Hills police station.