Hate speech, violent rallies, private army, shoe throwing:
By Madabhushi Sridhar
Coordinator, Center for Media Law and Policy at NALSAR University Hyderabad
The Governance in AP is suffering while people are divided further with cut-throat politics over and in Telangana. In the name of democracy the political parties are violently speaking and physically attacking each other, while crushing the innocent people in between. Warangal district Court directed registering of criminal case against E Dayakar Rao, and other TDP leaders for the hate content of provocative speeches and press conferences. Police beat up protestors and even gangs that follow the political party also beat them up, and the injured are hospitalized. Formal registering of cases against stick wielding muscle men of TDP also happens. High Court directs a CBI probe against brutal torture of a Telangana student by non-Telangana police officer.
A Telangana activist collected some details to explain how TDP went on with Rythu Poru Yatra, in spite of stiff resistance from the people in Warangal. 7000 police, 1000 vehicles, two thousand ‘chandradandu’ members, 5 km padayatra, five minutes speech, Rs 3 crore expense to Government, Rs 50 Crore costs for TDP, 1000 armed police guards, 100 chappals and 200 chairs without women or agriculturists, are the components of TDP’s Rytu Poru Bata on 6th January. TDP organized a few agriculturists to talk to Chandrababu, praising him and wishing him to be CM again. TRS organized bundh and protests en route.
When Chandrababu started speaking at Palakurthi, Kakatiya Univeristy Students, Joint Action Committee and other Pro-Telangana activist’s hurled shoes and chappals at him. Even as the police were about to arrest the protestors, the members of Chandradandu, private army of TDP attacked, grounded, foot them down and beaten black and blue. Women were also not spared. Then police have to stop the gang members and take the protestors. Both pro and anti Telugu Desam newspapers (Eenadu and Saakshi) reported that those protested were beaten in a very cruel manner. Eenadu wrote TDP ‘young workers’ (Saakshi described them as members of Chandra Dandu) beat the students with chairs. Lakshman, Arun, Ramu, Manoj, Mahesh and Madhu were admitted in hospital with injuries. Police arrested the students who were beaten.
The New Law: It is democratic for a political party to organize rally even if huge number of people protest. It is equally democratic for another political party to organize bundh protesting it. But it is an undemocratic crime to protest and punishment for it is ‘youth’ will physically assault and police will book ‘criminal’ cases.
If an ordinary man attacks the other, a criminal case is booked. But if a few persons attack others in a political meeting, no cases or no arrests, though law does not recognize political meeting as a defence for committing offenses.
Leader of opposition and former CM moves with his Z plus security, which is supposed to protect him from attacks of left wing extremists. Those state security personnel move with him in his aggressive political tours like ‘Poru Yatra’. Can they help him to threaten and attack political opponents? TDP rally goes with thousands of men in thousands of vehicles with sticks and other weapons. They move to places where people are politically hostile and differ in policy with an agenda to find a foot hold. The rival party would like to retain its political support, for which it organizes the protests, stone pelting and shoe throwing. Protestors are beaten by ‘protectors’ of rally and police arrest ‘protestors’. All happens in the name of democracy and all of us know that every bit of it is hypocrisy.
The New Law: Political leader can use state security personnel for his politically motivated aggressive rallies to threaten protestors. A political party can have thousands of ‘youth’ to wield sticks to deal with protestors. Others cannot.
Warangal was once a strong hold of TDP and now it want to gain some ground in the name of ‘fight for agriculturists’. TDP’s Telangana wing strongly talks for Telangana state while their Seemandhra wing is equally, if not, more strong in opposing it. They really intend to finish off its political rival TRS. When TRS and TDP are fighting madly, the ruling Congress party plays its own politics to find a place for it. On the other hand it is not known whether TRS is interested in political power or separate state of Telangana. Ultimate victims are the people, not knowing who is sincere.
All this explain a case of silent facilitation and inaction of state to crush the agitation. Another angle to the saga of Telangana people is direct torture of Telangana leaders by private army and police belonging to seemandhra. The Andhra Pradesh High Court directed CBI probe into torture of a Kakatiya University student Yakub Reddy, who was not produced before court of law until the magistrate noticed the manipulative tactic of police. Generally media reports that police used third degree method when they physically torture for extracting evidence. Even this is a crime and clear violation of human rights as per law. But an anti-Telangana police officer torturing an agitator for demanding Telangana is some thing criminal and not just ‘third degree’ method in the process of investigation. It was ‘interrogation’ with high intensity of anti-Telangana vengeance. Kazipet DSP Venkatanarsaiah, not belonging to Telangana has openly threatened Yakubreddy and tortured him with utmost cruelty leading to damage to his kidney. He was shifted to Yashoda and NIMS in Hyderabad. The torture was so cruel that he has to be treated for about 45 days.
The New Law: Staging a Dharna against a Telangana Minister is a crime for which punishment is police torture’.
The Congress regime at center and state is implementing the dark chapter of Srikrishna Committee, which has recommended to use anti-Telangana persons to crush the Telangana agitation and some how manage the TRS party leaders besides cajoling Telangana Congress leaders offering them deputy Chief Ministership and Ministerial berths. It is a shame that former Supreme Court judge recommended unruly strategies which are against constitutional norms, and that Governments simply followed them. The TRS is under a serious allegation of corrupt contract deals with Congress government, while TDP crushes its own T wing with non Telangana lobby and above all Congress High Command silences T-ministers and some MPs. The resignation of T MLAs is a deception on people of Telangana as no legislators left his gunmen, perks and benefits besides political privileges attached. Above all these, TDP trained some of its leaders to use filthiest language against TRS, of course, to receive it back, as part of their party building strategy in Telangana. Almost every word and deed is criminal.
The New Law: To spread hate and venom based on region and religion is a crime. Not if for political reasons.