Special court remands rebel YSRC MP K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju to 14 days' judicial custody

Amaravati: A designated CID court on Saturday night remanded arrested YSR Congress MP K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju to 14 days in judicial custody but directed that he be admitted to a hospital for treatment of injuries allegedly caused due to police torture.

The CID court magistrate directed that the MP be kept in hospital till he was completely cured.

On the other hand, hearing a Habeas Corpus petition, the Andhra Pradesh High Court constituted a medical board to examine Raju's injuries and submit a report by Sunday.

Raju submitted a four-page letter to the CID court magistrate in Guntur alleging that the sleuths beat him, causing severe injuries, particularly to his legs.

He submitted photographs showing his swollen and bruised feet as evidence of police torture. "They used third-degree methods while interrogating me," the rebel MP alleged.

The same evidence was also presented to the High Court, hearing the Habeas Corpus petition.

The High Court took a serious view of this and said stern action on the police would be taken if it was found that the injuries on Raju were caused by their torture.

The High Court constituted a special bench, headed by Justice C Praveen Kumar, to hear Rajus case.

Additional Advocate General P Sudhakar Reddy, on behalf of the state government, sought to debunk the Narsapuram MP'ss claims and said the latter started a "new drama" after the High Court dismissed his bail petition earlier in the day.

"His family members brought lunch for Raju in the afternoon and till then he was fine. But he began the new drama after the bail petition was dismissed," the Additional Advocate General alleged.

Taking to Twitter, Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidu lambasted the Jagan Mohan Reddy government over the MP's issue.

In a statement, the Leader of Opposition found fault with the CID for going to the MP's residence and arresting him.

"This is a major crime as it is against the COVID-19 restrictions. Now, applying third-degree measures is another wrong. All these reflect that AP is under a faction regime and not a constitutional system," Chandrababu lamented.

He demanded that appropriate legal action be taken against the "guilty police officials".

The High Court earlier in the day dismissed the MP's bail petition, even as the Crime Investigation Department questioned him for several hours in connection with the sedition case filed against him.

The CID, which arrested Raju on various charges, including sedition, also named two media houses and "others" as accused in the case.

They were charged under Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (statements conducing public mischief) read with 120B (conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code, according to the FIR.

The CID also alleged that the MP particularly targeted two communities and tried to stoke hatred against them by trying to portray that the government has been favouring the two.

The CID registered the case on the morning of 14 May at Mangalagiri, a day after its Deputy Inspector General of Police submitted a report to the Additional Director General, and its team arrested the rebel MP in the evening at his residence in Hyderabad and brought him to the regional office in Guntur late in the night.

CID sources said he was questioned for several hours, late on Friday night and later on Saturday morning, even as the MP filed a plea in the High Court seeking bail.

The Court, however, dismissed the bail plea saying it could not entertain it at this stage and asked the applicant to approach the lower court concerned.

The Opposition TDP, BJP, Jana Sena and CPI attacked the government over the MPs arrest and alleged that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was pursuing politics of vendetta at a time when the state was going through a major health emergency in the form of COVID-19.

The YSRC, however, defended the government's action accusing its rebel MP of trying to foment communal hatred. "He was indulging in anti-constitutional and seditious acts and was hence arrested. Neither the YSRC nor the government had anything to do with Raju's arrest," YSRC MLA and spokesman K Parthasarathy maintained.