After the arrest of Telangana president Bandi Sanjay Kumar in the early hours of Wednesday, 5 April, the Telangana Police detained BJP MLAs Raghunandan Rao and Eatala Rajender and other leaders later in the day.
Meanwhile, the BJP has called for statewide protests against the arrest of Sanjay.
Raghunandan Rao was detained near the Bommala Ramaram Police Station in the Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, where he was lodged after his midnight arrest in Karimnagar.
A tense situation prevailed around the police station as scores of BJP workers reached there to stage a protest against the arrest of Sanjay.
Additional police forces were rushed to the area to control the situation. Barricades were erected about 2 km from the police station to stop the protesters.
Raghunandan Rao and his supporters were also stopped by the police. The MLA, who wanted to meet police officers, was detained and whisked away in a vehicle.
The protesters, including women, raised slogans against the police and tried to stop the vehicle.
Raghunandan alleged that police violated the Supreme Court guidelines in Sanjay’s arrest.
He said the BRS government was creating “Bihar-like anarchy” in Telangana with the help of the Director General of Police (DGP). He also called DGP Anjani Kumar a “Bihari gunda”.
Bandi Sanjay’s arrest
Bandi Sanjay was arrested from his ’ house in Karimnagar around 12.45 am after the cops registered an FIR under Section 151 of the CrPC. Under this section, a police officer, knowing of a design to commit any cognizable offence, may arrest anyone without orders from a magistrate and without a warrant.
He is believed to have been arrested in connection with the 10th and 12th class exam paper leaks over the past couple of days.
He was subsequently shifted from the police station in a vehicle. The BJP workers tried to stop the police vehicle carrying him. The police detained them.
The BJP leader will likely be produced in a court in the Nalgonda district.
According to the police, the person who leaked the Hindi question paper in Warangal soon after the exam began sent it to Bandi Sanjay on WhatsApp. Accused Prashanth is said to be a BJP worker.
Cops from the Karimnagar Town II Police Station said that after the leaking of the question papers, Bandi Sanjay — through press statements and social media — blamed the state government for it.
They added that he also provoked students to resort to various protest measures and acts that were likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity, creating law-and-order problems.
“I received information that the MP also motivated his followers and other BJP activists to sit on dharnas in front of examination centres, so as to disturb the conduct and continuation of further examinations. Such acts were likely to demoralise the students appearing for the SSC examinations, in which event there was every likelihood of students resorting to extreme measures,” said Karimnagar Town II Police Station Inspector T Lakshmi Babu in his complaint.
He added that the preventive arrest of Bandi Sanjay Kumar was deemed necessary to ensure the peaceful conduct of the ongoing SSC examinations, and to maintain the law-and-order situation.
Eatala Rajender and Raja Singh held
Another BJP MLA, Eatala Rajender, was detained by the police in Shameerpet on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The MLA was taken into preventive custody.
Rajender questioned the police action for detaining him when he was proceeding to the BJP office.
Suspended BJP MLA from Goshamahal T Raja Singh was also detained by the police while he was going to Karimnagar.
Meanwhile, the BJP staged protests in different parts of the state to condemn Sanjay’s arrest. The protesters raised slogans against the BRS government.
Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy condemned Sanjay’s arrest.
He telephoned DGP Anjani Kumar for the details of the case in whose connection Sanjay was arrested. The police chief said details of the case would soon be made public.
It is unfortunate that even the DGP was not aware in which case Bandi Sanjay was arrested despite all the commotion, said a statement from the BJP.
This showed the way the police system was working in Telangana, it added.
Kishan Reddy said the police should not act as slaves to KCR’s family.
Harish Rao asks for Bandi Sanjay disqualification
Meanwhile, Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Wednesday sought the disqualification of Bandi Sanjay from the Lok Sabha.
He said Sanjay was involved in both Monday and Tuesday’s question paper incidents reported in Tandur and Warangal.
“He was the prime conspirator in both incidents. While Prasanth, involved in the Warangal case, is a BJP party worker, the teacher involved in the Tanduru incident is a member of a BJP-affiliated teachers’ organisation,” Harish Rao told reporters.
Rao also sought an explanation from Sanjay as to why Prasanth had shared the photo of the question paper with Sanjay on WhatsApp.
He also said that while BJP leaders in Warangal staged a protest on Tuesday afternoon, he said the same leaders staged a dharna on Tuesday evening in the same location demanding the release of the people involved in the paper leak.
The minister said this clearly indicated that the BJP leaders were involved in the incident.
Stating that no parent or student got the paper on Tuesday before the examination was completed, he said the BJP leaders had circulated the question paper among themselves to portray that the paper was leaked.
IPS association demands action
Meanwhile, the IPS Association of Telangana condemned what it said was an irresponsible and highly derogatory comment made by BJP MLA M Raghunandan Rao against DGP Anjani Kumar on Wednesday in reference to the preventive arrest of Bandi Sanjay.
The association also requested the Speaker of the Assembly to take firm disciplinary action against Raghunandan Rao.
Such an irresponsible statement from a legislator and the use of unparliamentary language against a senior government functionary was highly unbecoming and unhealthy in a democratic setup, it said.
Further, such disparaging remarks were highly demoralising for the entire police force of Telangana, which was working day and night to ensure the safety and security of the public and maintenance of law and order in the state, said DIG (Women’s Safety) B Sumathi, who is also the joint secretary of the IPS Association.