The death of a farmer under mysterious circumstances on Monday in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh sparked off a dispute with opposition parties alleging police brutality behind the reason of his death.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu came under attack on Tuesday by the opposition parties on the charge that Koteswara Rao alias Kotaiah, a farmer was tortured to death by Guntur police for refusing to give his land at Kondaveedu in Guntur district to make temporary helipad for the CM.
The BJP and YSR Congress alleged on that Kotaiah was badly beaten up by the Guntur police for objecting to the destruction and felling of his 2-acre papaya land for the purpose of the helipad. In light of this, BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana has written a letter to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh requesting that an inquiry be ordered and justice be done to the farmer’s family, while the YSR Congress party instituted a three-member fact-finding committee headed by Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, to probe the incident. Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan has also demanded an independent probe into the tragedy.
In a strongly-worded tweet, YSR Congress president and Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that the farmer was badly beaten and left to die. He also hit out at Chandrababu Naidu and accused him of damaging the farmer’s papaya field in order to land his helicopter.
The District Superintendent of Police, Rajasekhara Babu, however, maintains that the land was used for setting up a temporary police control room only with the consent of Kotaiah. The Guntur district police proclaims that Kotaiah had committed suicide by consuming pesticides four hours before the CM was scheduled to arrive due to personal reasons. He denied police torture as being alleged by the opposition parties. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) reiterated the district police stand by stating “family disputes” to be the reason Kotaiah had resorted to the extreme.
Chandrababu Naidu announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakhs to the bereaved family, a classic move to kill two birds with one stone by showing faux magnanimity while attempting to hush the family.
Andhra Pradesh state BJP president, in his letter to the Union Home Minister, alleged that police poured pesticide into the farmer’s mouth to cover-up their illegal act and projected it as suicide.”The police did not even allow the farmer, battling for life, to be taken to hospital citing the Chief Ministers movement. He died in the melee,” K Lakshminarayana said in the letter, a copy of which was released to the media.