SIT to probe post-poll violence in Andhra Pradesh

 

by IANS | Fri, May 17, 2024, 12:44 PM



Amaravati, May 17 (IANS) A Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be constituted to probe post-poll violence in Andhra Pradesh.


The SIT will submit an action taken report to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in each of the cases of violence. FIRs will be updated with additional appropriate IPC sections and other relevant statutory provisions.


Chief Secretary K. S. Jawahar Reddy and Director General of Police Harish Kumar Gupta had on Thursday appeared before Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and two election commissioners in New Delhi.


The ECI had summoned the top officials to personally explain the reasons for the failure of the administration to contain post-poll violence.


Several incidents of violence were reported in Anantapur, Palnadu and Tirupati districts during polling on May 13 and on subsequent days.


The Chief Secretary and DGP shared their assessment of negligence and lack of supervision on the part of officials in violence-hit districts.


Based on their report, the Election Commission cracked the whip on 16 officials. It suspended Palnadu Superintendent of Police (SP) Garikapati Bindu Madhav and Anantapur SP Amit Bardar.


The Commission also ordered the transfer of Palnadu district collector Siva Sankar Lotheti and Tirupati SP Krishnakanth Patel.


Departmental enquiry will also be initiated against these officials.


Bindu Madhav had taken charge of Palnadu district as SP a month ago after the Election Commission transferred Y. Ravi Shankar Reddy.


Krishnakanth Patel too had taken charge as Tirupati SP two months ago.


The state government, in its report to the Election Commission, stated that these officials failed to prevent violence despite its apprehension. The officials failed to take adequate precautionary measures despite the history of political violence in these districts.


The Election Commission also approved the suspension of 12 subordinate police officials in the Palnadu, Anantapur and Tirupati districts.


The suspended officers in Tirupati districts are Tirupati DSP A. Surender Reddy, Special Branch Inspector K. Rajashekhar, Special Branch DSP Bhaskar Reddy and Alipiri Inspector Ramachandra Reddy.


In Palnadu district, the Commission has suspended Narasaraopet DSP VSN Varma, Gurazala DSP A. Pallapu Raju, Inspectors K. Prabhakar Rao, E. Bala Nagi Reddy, Karempudi SI Ramanjaneyulu and Nagarjuna Sagar SI DV Kondareddy.


Those suspended in Anantapur district are Tadipatri DSP C. M. Gangaiah and Tadipatri Inspector Murali Krishna.


The poll panel directed CS and DGP to ensure that such violence is not repeated and all SPs to be tasked to take pre-emptive measures to avoid such a situation in future.


The state government also requested to retain 25 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for 15 days after counting to control any possible violence after the declaration of results. The Commission decided to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs to retain the 25 CAPF companies in Andhra Pradesh for 15 days after counting.


Incidents were also reported before the poll involving assault, setting the property/office of the opposite party on fire, threatening, damaging the campaign vehicles, stone pelting etc. Most of these incidents happened in the districts of Annamaya, Chittoor and Palnadu and a few incidents in Guntur, Anantapur and Nandyal.



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