ANDHRA PRADESH

Traffic police, MLA's son trade charges

HYDERABAD Aug. 26. An argument over "signal jumping'' sparked off trouble at Liberty crossroads on Tuesday. While the BJP MLA, Prem Singh Rathore, charged that his 22- year-old son, Rishi Raj, was beaten up by a traffic constable on the "pretext of signal jumping'', the Saifabad traffic police accused the MLA and his men of attacking an SI, Mohd. Ashwaq, and a constable, Murali Krishna.

Rishi Raj was intercepted by Murali Krishna at Liberty junction while he was going from Tank Bund side to Basheerbagh on the charge that he jumped the signal. The constable took him to the SI who fined him Rs. 50.

But, Rishi Raj complained that he was manhandled by the constable and demanded action. The SI asked Rishi Raj to lodge a complaint with the law and order police. Subsequently, the police took his vehicle, along with the documents, to the nearby Saifabad traffic police station. ``My son called me up crying that he was abused and beaten up by traffic cops,'' Mr. Rathore said.

According to him, two persons were seen arguing with the police on his son's behalf when he went to the police station. "I told them not to interfere and my followers began to pour in after learning about the incident,'' the MLA said.

The DCP (Traffic), K. Srinivas Reddy, however, charged that the MLA's men pushed aside and slapped the SI and the constable in the police station even as higher officials were trying out find out what exactly had happened.

Meanwhile, the Musheerabad MLA, K. Laxman, and the BJP city president, Venkataramani, turned up and questioned about the incident.

The DCP assured the MLA that disciplinary action would be taken against policemen concerned after conducting an inquiry. Both the parties -- Saifabad traffic police and Mr. Rathore -- lodged complaints against one another with the Narayanaguda police.

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