Telangana Congress leaders on Wednesday alleged that caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had ordered police to arrest Congress leaders by reopening old cases to subdue them ahead of elections. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the arrest of former Congress legislator and leader from Sangareddy T Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy in a 14-year-old human trafficking case was illegal and aimed at terrorising opposition parties just before Assembly elections. He also condemned the arrest of other Congress leaders, including former deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha and Youth Congress leader Bala Kumar, on “frivolous charges”.
Jayaprakash Reddy was arrested Monday on charges of human trafficking after officials from Market police station found that he obtained passports for himself and three others using fake documents and used these passports to take three persons from Gujarat to the US for monetary gain.
Hyderabad Police North Zone’s Deputy Commissioner of Police B Sumathi said that in September 2004, when Reddy was MLA, he applied for passports for himself, his wife, daughter and son. However, instead of photographs of his family members, Reddy allegedly affixed photographs of three unknown persons and secured the passports by submitting fabricated documents. “He was paid Rs 15 lakh for obtaining those passports and visas by an agent,” Sumathi said.
After Jayaprakash Reddy’s arrest, former deputy CM Rajanarasimha rushed to Sangareddy to protest against the police action. He, too, was arrested. Meanwhile, in Sircilla, which is TRS minister K T Rama Rao’s constituency, Bala Kumar was arrested for allegedly harassing girls of ST Hostel in an inebriated condition. And Congress leader from Warangal Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy was booked for allegedly threatening a businessman with a firearm.
Congress leaders alleged the police were directed by the CM to book A Revanth Reddy, a TDP MLA who recently joined the Congress and will contest from Kodangal constituency. As TDP MLA, Revanth Reddy was caught by the Telangana ACB while allegedly trying to bribe a nominated MLA to vote in favour of a TDP candidate in the Legislative Council election. On Wednesday, officials of Jubilee Hills police station issued a notice to Revanth Reddy to appear before them for questioning. He was also booked for allegedly purchasing a plot by submitting forged documents.
Condemning the arrest of Jayaprakash Reddy, the TPCC chief said the main accused in the case, Mohammed Rasheed Ali, in his confessional statement named KCR, minister T Harish Rao and other TRS leaders. “KCR, T Harish Rao, Kasipeta Lingaiah, Bodhan ex-MLA Shakeel Ahmed, ex-MP Madhusudan Reddy were allegedly involved in the trafficking racket. However, only Jagga Reddy was targeted and arrested. This was done to intimidate Congress leaders,” he said.