The Telangana Democratic Forum (TDF) has deputed six advocates to Chattisgarh to apply for bail on behalf of seven of its members, who are in police custody since their arrest in Khammam district of Telangana on Monday. More than 200 activists and lawyers held a massive demonstration at Dr B R Ambedkar’s statue in Hyderabad on Tuesday against the detention of the TDF seven members, who were going to Sukma in Chattisgarh to investigate reports of abuse of tribals, especially children, by security forces.
Chikkudu Prabhakar, 48, TDF secretary and a High Court advocate and human rights activist, his friend and High Court advocate Bala Ravindra Nath, 42, Mohammed Nazeem, 28, an Urdu research student at Osmania, freelance journalist Rajendra Prasad, tribal rights activist R Lakshmanaiah, social activists B Durga Prasad and B Prabhakar Rao were allegedly arrested by Telangana Police near Kunta on the Telangana-Chattisgarh border and handed over to Chattisgarh Police.
Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma denied that Telangana Police detained them. “They were detained by Chattisgarh Police. We had nothing to with it,’’ Sharma said on Tuesday.
However, TDF convenor P L Vishweshwara Rao, a professor at Osmania University, alleged that the team was detained in Telangana. “The Telangana Assembly is in session and the government did not want this team to come with any evidence of atrocities by security forces on tribals along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border. That is why they were ordered to be arrested. Their arrest is illegal and unconstitutional,’’ Rao said.
“We have sent six lawyers to Raipur to take up the case of our colleagues,’’ Rao added.