ANDHRA PRADESH

An agonising wait for mediapersons

Police deny access to journalists covering Varavara Rao's arrest

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: It was a long wait for journalists covering the arrest of former CPI (Maoist) emissary, Varavara Rao, at the Chaderghat police station on Friday.

From the time he was arrested from his apartment at Malakpet in the early hours till his production in the court around 4.30 p.m., mediapersons anxiously waited on the road outside the police station to catch a glimpse of his shifting.

The police denied them entry into the station as they shut the grill at the entrance. The passers by were surprised at the gathering.

Stream of visitors

Relatives and friends of Mr. Rao kept coming to the station to talk to him at regular intervals.

The most prominent visitor was balladeer Gadar.

He created a scene when he too was not allowed entry into the station initially.

And when a police officer tried to pacify him and lead him into the station by putting his arm over his shoulder, an enraged Gadar shot back, "How dare you touch me."

On coming out of the station, he sang a song as he walked the whole distance to cross the Chaderghat bridge and get into his car to proceed to the Chief Minister's camp office.

Traffic disrupted

The colleagues of Mr. Rao in Virasam, notably its State executive member Chalasani Prasad, also attracted the attention of passers by as they sang a song and raised slogans. Mr. Prasad and Mr. Rao's wife protested that the arrest was illegal as the notification of the ban on Virasam was not in place yet.

As curious onlookers watched the scene, the traffic on the busy road was disrupted.

The police dispersed the Virasam members to clear the traffic.

At the Press Club in Basheerbagh where G. Kalyan Rao was arrested, utter chaos prevailed as a determined police party tried to take him away while Virasam members put up a resistance.

A huge contingent of photographers and videographers added to the confusion.

The photographers and the police personnel were involved in a quarrel. Mr. Rao was finally removed to Saifabad police station in the midst of the trouble.

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