Telangana YouTuber Teenmar Mallanna arrested for ‘abduction’, ‘assault’ of 2 police personnel

A case against Mallanna was also registered at LB Nagar Police Station for defamatory comments against BRS leaders K Kavitha and KT Rama Rao.

BySumit Jha

Published Mar 22, 2023 | 10:44 PM Updated Mar 22, 2023 | 10:45 PM

On 19 March, a case was registered against Mallanna for defamatory comments against K Kavitha and KT Rama Rao. (Facebook)

As politics intensifies in Telangana after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioning of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and BRS MLC K Kavitha, the Telangana Police appears to have started to crack down on those making harsh comments against KCR and his family.

Late at night on Tuesday, 21 March, the police arrested controversial YouTuber and journalist Chintapandu Naveen, who is better known by his alias Teenmar Mallanna and runs the YouTube channel Q News.

According to a statement by the Rachakonda Commissionerate on Wednesday, Teenmar Mallana was arrested — along with four staff of Q News — by the Medipally police on the charges of forceful abduction of two police constables, their wrongful confinement, assaulting the police officers on duty, and deterring them from discharging their legitimate duties.

It should be noted that a case against Teenmar Mallanna was registered at the LB Nagar Police Station for defamatory comments against BRS leaders. His office was vandalised by miscreants the same day.

The arrest of Teenmar Mallanna

After the news of his arrest, his followers as well as family members did not know to which police station he was taken. It was assumed that he was taken at LB Nagar Police Station.

“On Tuesday evening, some policemen in mufti came to Teenmar Mallanna’s office and arrested him without an arrest warrant, without a notice. He was arrested undemocratically and, till now, it is also unknown to which station he was taken,” a Teenmar Mallanna supporter, Tharun Reddy, told South First.

On Wednesday, the Medipally Police Station said he was arrested on charges of abduction, and not for any statements against anyone.

Abduction case against Teenmar Mallanna

The police said that when they were performing vehicle-checking near Raghavendra Bhavan in Peerzadiguda around 8 pm on Tuesday, to prevent chain snatchings and other property-related offences, three unknown persons with sticks approached two constables and questioned them.

“When they informed the men that they were policemen, they did not bother to listen and forcibly took them to the nearby Q News office by assaulting them with hands and sticks, which was witnessed by persons present there. They were produced before Mallanna who stated that the police are loitering near the office,” said the police statement.

The cops added that Mallanna then ordered his associates to bring them into his room, where the constables were allegedly thrashed severely.

Teenmar Mallanna allegedly started assaulting them with a stick, and provoked his associates.

Also read: Teenmaar Mallanna office attacked; BJP blames BRS

“Coming to know this, police officers and police parties deployed in nearby areas rushed to the spot and rescued their colleagues. There was blatant obstruction by all the accused while trying to rescue the two abducted and confined constables,” said the police statement.

The cops registered a case against Teenmar Mallanna, Bandaru Ravinder, Uppala Nikhil, Sirra Sudhakar, and Chintha Sandeep Kumar of Q News under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 395 (dacoity), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), and 307 R/w 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 (1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1932 at the Medipally Police Station.

The LB Nagar case against him

On 19 March, a member of the Telangana Jagruthi, which is run by K Kavitha, registered a police complaint at the LB Nagar Police Station against Teenmar Mallanna for allegedly making defamatory comments against BRS MLC K Kavitha and IT Minister KT Rama Rao.

Naveen Goud, the complainant, alleged that the BRS cadres and supporters were deeply anguished and outraged by the comments made by Mallanna

He demanded immediate action against Mallanna and also asked the police to ban his YouTube channel.

The police initiated an investigation after filing a case under Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The same day, Teenmaar Mallanna’s office was attacked. After the attack, he levelled allegations against the BRS leadership, including IT Minister KT Rama Rao.

Mallanna alleged that 25 BRS “goondas” had attacked his office as part of a conspiracy to kill him.

On Monday, BRS cadres filed a complaint with the cybercrime department in Rachakonda against Mallanna for releasing a video on Sunday in which he allegedly used derogatory language against KTR.

It should be mentioned that being a critic of the Telangana chief minister, he was jailed for 73 days under various charges — including extortion and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act — in December 2020. He was booked in a total of 38 cases.

Many of the cases filed against him were for criticising KCR, his son KTR, and his daughter Kavitha. His arrest was seen as a political vendetta by the then-TRS (now BRS) government.

He joined BJP in December 2021, but five months later, he quit the BJP to launch a political movement called the “7200 movement”, aimed at clean politics. Mallanna continues to be a vocal critic of the BRS in the state and remained close to BJP leadership.

Also read: BRS K Kavitha grilled for 3rd time, says ED sabotaging probe

When politicians got involved

Bandi Sanjay Kumar, the state BJP president, visited Mallanna’s house late on Tuesday night to speak with his family, and condemned the arrest, stating that democracy was under threat in Telangana.

“KCR is digging his own grave by stifling the voices which are questioning his tyranny. Earnest request to media organisations not to budge under the pressure of BRS govt [sic],” he said.

He added that the chief minister was resorting to these tactics after his son’s role in the question paper leakage issue and his daughter’s role in the Delhi liquor scam came out.

Extending support to Mallanna, Telangana Congress president Revanth Reddy tweeted, “The KCR government runs media houses under the family rule and questions people like Teenmar Mallanna. It is committing abuse of power with the help of the police and taking them under mufti without giving notice. The Congress will stand by Mallanna.”

KTR’s response via Twitter

On Wednesday, BRS working president KTR tweeted, “In BJP-ruled Karnataka, 14 days jail for an ‘offensive’ tweet. In Telangana, we’ve been tolerating direct & horrible insults to our CM, Ministers and Legislators. May be we need to give them back in same coin, what say people? Right to Freedom of expression is not Right to Abuse. [sic]”

In response to this, Mitta Vamsi Krishna, state general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha tweeted, “The hypocrisy of @KTRBRS is truly unmatchable! First BRS goons vandalised #teenmarmallana’s office & then BRS govt arrested him over some fake charges. And now @KTRBRS garu is preaching about freedom of expression! [sic]”

Also Read: Not afraid of ED or Modi, says KTR

Mallanna’s tryst with politics

Mallanna gained prominence in the 2021 biennial election during the Nalgonda-Warangal-Khammam graduates’ constituency in the Legislative Council, where he — as an independent candidate — put up a tough fight against the ruling party and emerged as a strong contender, upsetting others.

He secured a surprising 83,520 votes, while BRS candidate Palla Rajeshwar emerged victorious with 1,11,090 votes.

His Q News channel has 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube.