HYDERABAD/WARANGAL: Taking a serious view of Warangal police using third degree methods on pro-Telangana agitators, the AP High Court on Thursday ordered a CBI inquiry into the torture of Kakatiya University (KU) research scholar Vukanti Yakub Reddy.
A Bench, comprising Justice Ghulam Mohammad and Justice K G Shankar, directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident and complete the probe within three months. The court expressed serious concern over the rights violation by the police and wanted CBI to do a thorough inquiry. The court gave this ruling in a petition by Yakub Reddy who charged the cops with torturing him during interrogation. According to medical experts, Yakub Reddy suffered damage to one of his kidneys due to police beating.
Yakub Reddy was among 14 KU Joint Action Committee students who were arrested by the police and tortured for vandalising district minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s house at Ramnagar in Warangal on September 6, 2011. The students were staging a dharna, demanding the minister’s resignation in support of separate Telangana state.
Senior counsel D Prakash Reddy had brought to HC’s notice in September last how the police tried to mislead the magistrate while producing the agitators before him. It was only after the magistrate noticed Yakub Reddy’s absence that the police were forced to produce the student activist before him. By then, Yakub’s condition had turned critical and he was produced before the magistrate on a stretcher.
Bringing this to the court’s notice, Prakash Reddy told the single judge earlier that he had personally visited the victim at the Warangal hospital and came to know about the brutal treatment meted out to him and open threats issued by Kazipet DSP Venkata Narsaiah. The single judge then referred the matter to a division bench.
Yakub Reddy was first admitted to MGM Hospital in Warangal in a critical condition on September 7. When his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to NIMS and later Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad. He underwent treatment for over 45 days.
Yakub said justice has been done with the court order. “I was brutally kicked and tortured by the cops. Because of the police beating, I am unable to walk properly even now,” he told TOI.
He said then DSP Venkata Narsaiah had warned them that they should stop participating in the Telangana agitation or they would be killed in an encounter.
“The police officials threatened us that they will “encounter” us if we say ‘Jai Telangana’.
The last few months have been traumatic as I was always worried about cops swooping down on my place and taking me away again for questioning,” he said.
The Subedari police had taken Yakub and 13 others into custody on September 6 and shifted them to Madikonda police station where they were beaten up mercilessly.
The police authorities sent Yakub to Dharmasagar police station from where he was taken to Zaffargadh and Palakurthy police stations.
TRS district convenor P Sudarshan Reddy and Warangal West MLA D Vinaya Bhaskar tried to get him released from police custody but in vain.
Following a direction from the Warangal district court, Yakub was shifted to MGM Hospital.
The students recalled that they were mercilessly beaten up by police for ‘daring’ to conduct a dharna in front of Ponnala’s house.
Apparently, Ponnala was peeved because the agitating students had smashed a photo-frame of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Telangana lawyers’ Joint Action Committee had earlier lodged a complaint against the police brutality at the AP State Human Rights Commission and the SHRC, in turn, had asked for a detailed report from the director-general of police on the incident.
MLC Chukka Ramaiah said the police were acting in a vindictive manner and compared their brutality to the suppression of Telangana armed struggle by the Razakars of Nizam. TRS floor leader Etela Rajender said his party had sought suspension of Venkata Narsaiah.
TRS MLA T Harish Rao said instead of suspending Narsaiah, the government transferred him and sent him to Hyderabad to work as an ACP.
He said Narsaiah had threatened to “encounter” those students who raised Telangana issue.