Tirupati: Dalit youth's death triggers political row

TDP district president Pulivarthi Nani
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TDP district president Pulivarthi Nani in house arrest at Chittoor on Friday 

Highlights

  • An autorickshaw driver is found dead in his home after a video of him abusing Chief Minister for increasing liquor rates goes viral on social media.
  • The family insists that his death is due to his ailments
  • TDP leaders allege that threats and harassment by ruling party leaders as well as police are behind the death

Tirupati: The death of a Dalit youth Om Prathap of Kanduru village in Somala mandal of Punganur constituency kicked up a political storm with the opposition TDP alleging that harassment by ruling party leaders drove the youth to resort to extreme step. Pratap was found dead after his video of abusing Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy went viral. He later said he was in an inebriated condition when he made those remarks.

The reason for his frustration was the huge hike in the prices of liquor in the state. After the video gone viral on social media, Om Prathap, an autorickshaw driver, was found dead at his residence in the village. However, his family members claimed that it was natural death due to his medical ailments.

TDP leaders including its chief N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh demanded a probe into this death as it happened after he questioned the government on its liquor policy. They claimed that following the harassment and threats of ruling party leaders and police, he ended his life though the family members claimed it as natural death.

Naidu has even written a letter to DGP and to NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) over the death and alleged that Om Prathap was driven to suicide by minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. However, the family members of the deceased autodriver urged Naidu and Lokesh not to politicise the death as they do not have any doubts in the matter.

On Thursday, Naidu spoke to district TDP leaders and asked them to find out facts in the issue. With this, former minister N Amaranatha Reddy, TDP district president Pulivarthi Nani, party Punganur leaders N Srinath Reddy and his wife Aneesha planned to go to the village on Friday on a fact-finding mission. But they were all kept under house arrest at their respective places by the police from morning itself.

Speaking to The Hans India, Amaranatha Reddy said that as there were some doubts in the whole episode they just wanted to find out the facts. He said that post-mortem was not held initially but when it became an issue only it was done. Police have taken over the mobile phone of the deceased. The party has been demanding to make the call data public. As they have doubts over whether post-mortem was done honestly, they demanded a CBI enquiry into the issue.

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