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Post poll violence: Cops colluded with leaders?

Post poll violence: Cops colluded with leaders?

Several political leaders from both the ruling YSR Congress Party and the opposition Telugu Desam Party are likely to face arrests in connection with the violence in Palnadu, Anantapur, and Tirupati districts during and after the recent assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), led by Inspector General of Police (Special Investigation Bureau) Vineet Brij Lal, submitted its report to Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police Harish Kumar Gupta on Monday.

The report names several political leaders and activists as responsible for the violence.

The 13-member SIT was constituted by the DGP on the directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to probe into the violent incidents on polling day, May 13, and the subsequent post-poll violence in the state.

While the SIT was tasked with thoroughly reviewing the investigation of major incidents of violence that occurred on the poll day and post-poll period, impacting law and order in Palnadu, Tirupati, and Anantapur, it also examined the role of political leaders in these incidents.

The SIT was divided into four sub-teams, each headed by a deputy superintendent of police.

Two teams were deployed in Palnadu district, and one team each was sent to Anantapur and Tirupati districts.

The SIT made some serious comments against the police for their alleged lapses in investigation at the field level.

The teams noted that many of the violent incidents were extremely serious, with large groups of miscreants brazenly participating in the offenses, indiscriminately pelting stones, which could potentially lead to serious injury or even death.

The sub-teams camped in their respective designated districts and thoroughly reviewed the cases identified, examining the investigation records, visiting the scenes of the offenses, interacting with the investigating officers and aggrieved persons, and verifying the physical evidence collected so far.

They also recorded witnesses’ statements and inquired whether appropriate sections of law were applied, whether all incidents were registered as cases, whether accused were identified and arrested.

The SIT identified several lapses in the investigation and gave clear instructions to the investigating officers for compliance at the earliest. Special teams were formed to identify and apprehend the accused at the district level.

“The investigating officers were instructed to file a memo in the concerned courts to add appropriate sections of law to the existing sections. They were further instructed to collect digital evidence like CCTV footage, videos, etc., arrest the accused, and file charge sheets at an early date,” an official statement from the SIT said.

“Based on the intensity of major incidents of violence on poll day and post-poll days, a total of 33 cases were identified in these three districts – 22 cases in three assembly constituencies of Palnadu, seven cases in one constituency in Anantapur, and four cases in two assembly constituencies in Tirupati,” the SIT said.

The SIT has directed the investigating officers to ensure the completion of pending arrests at the earliest, the statement said.

During the field visits, the SIT received representations from various aggrieved persons and is verifying the facts for further necessary action, the statement added.


Tags: Andhra Pradesh SIT Post-poll violence