Special Correspondent

Judicial inquiry ordered into the incident

SP R.K. Meena transferred

HYDERABAD: Announcing a judicial inquiry alongside a departmental probe into the police firing at Mudigonda in Khammam district, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday blamed anti-social elements, particularly naxal cadres for the incident. Proper compensation to the victim’s families would follow.

Tragic and unwarranted

Addressing a press conference, Dr. Reddy said the incident was “tragic and unwarranted. Innocent lives were snuffed out today. The whole society grieves over the incident. It should not have happened. I had earlier instructed the police not to resort to even lathicharge come what may. I told them to just keep a watch.”

Prior to talking to the media, he ordered suspension of Additional Superintendent of Police, Khammam, M. Ramesh Babu and transfer of SP R. K. Meena after a review of the day’s developments with Home Minister K. Jana Reddy, Ministers V. Venkateswara Rao and S. Chandrasekhar and the top police brass. He said suitable compensation would be paid to the families of the firing victims.

Police officials hauled

A visibly angry Dr. Reddy, who reportedly hauled up police officials earlier for the bloodshed, said, “I regret the incident. But we have information that the local CPI (M) leaders were a wife-and-husband team who were earlier underground cadre of the Maoists. When anti-social elements infiltrate people’s movements, it leads to such tragic consequences”.

The Chief Minister said the police resorted to lathicharge and firing when they were overpowered and stoned leading to injuries to some officials. Urging political parties not to vitiate the atmosphere further, he saw no reason in anyone taking to streets in support of their demand for house sites. “No other Government has embarked upon such a massive housing programme as we have done. We are also giving house sites to all till the demand is completely saturated.”