ANDHRA PRADESH

Left parties flay police action

TIRUPATI Nov. 13. In a display of camaraderie and solidarity with its leftist sibling, the district CPI(M) today strongly condemned the police action of foisting cases against three senior CPI district leaders under Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.

It may be mentioned here that the police arrested and remanded to judicial custody the CPI's district secretary, Harinadha Reddy, the Tirupati town unit secretary, Janardhan, and another party functionary, Manikyam, on the charge of rebuking some dalits by caste, which is a punishable offence under the Act.

Trouble started when the CPI leaders were reportedly trying to evict a dalit from a piece of land under his alleged illegal occupation. On the basis of the complaint from the dalit, the police registered a case against the three and remanded them, creating bitterness among the Left and democratic parties on the one hand and dalits on the other.

The district CPI(M) Secretary, K. Murali, in a statement, criticised the police for what he called their undue haste in arresting the leaders without any "proper investigation''. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the case.

Meanwhile district leaders of the AP SC Welfare Association and BC Welfare Associations, in a joint statement along with the People's Front (a break-away CPI(M) group in the town) described the incident as unfortunate it as was causing bad blood between the parties and dalits.

The signatories to the statement, P. Mohan Rao, G. Malyadri, Y. Munikrishnaiah and Maheswar expressed their concern over the precipitation of a relatively trivial issue and urged all concerned to exercise constraint and find a solution to the land issue amicably.