SHAME OF TENALI

SHAME OF TENALI
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Highlights

Outrage as main suspect shown as accused No. 8 D Gopi Tenali (Guntur): The 'Andhra Paris' hung its head in shame following the brutal killing of...

Outrage as main suspect shown as accused No. 8 D Gopi shameTenali (Guntur): The 'Andhra Paris' hung its head in shame following the brutal killing of a mother who tried to save her daughter from the drunken youth here on Monday night. The members of Dalit and women organisations descended on the town on Wednesday morning to extend support to her family and condemn the incident. The "indifferent attitude of the police" for failing to register an FIR promptly and arrest the accused was condemned in one voice. Sensing the mood of the public, growing restive by the moment, the police finally booked cases against eight persons. However, the police named the leader of the gang, Vammalaneni Nagaraju, as accused no. 8. The other accused who were arrested by the Tenali police included Meka Subrahmanyam, Garapati Vinod, Mopidevi Ramu, Shaik Jafar, Samudrala Pawankumar, Dasari Prasant and Maddala Kranti. It is said that Garapati Vinod has been working as driver to the family of Nagaraju for some time and is part of the gang led by Nagaraju. The relatives of the deceased, members of the Dalit and women orgnaisations took strong exception to the naming of Nagaraju as accused no. 8 and demanded that he be made the prime accused as his father owns the bar and restaurant where the crime occurred.
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The delay in police action was attributed to the political connections that the bar owner enjoys. Nagaraju's father, Janaki Ramachandra Rao, is a former vice-chairman of the Tenali Municipal Council. He is an active Congress leader and a close associate of the local MLA and Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar. The protesters alleged that the police did not act initially only because of the political pressures from the Speaker's office. It is also alleged that the police constable who was on duty at Gandhi Chowk, which is just 50 yards away from the scene of offence, did not respond to the cries of the victim's daughter, Mounika, as he was aware of the political connections of the accused at the scene. Suneela's attempts to save her daughter from the drunken group had cost her life as Mahatma Gandhi's statue stared in hapless condition. The popular junction, Gandhi Chowk, has the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and Potti Sriramulu facing four directions, while the bar, where the heinous incident occurred, is located facing the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The locals allege that Janaki Ramachandra Rao enjoys political support in the town which was the reason for the police to delay filing case and naming the accused. The town inspector, M Kamalakara Rao told The Hans India that they have found all the eight accused in the case. "We have verified the facts and found that all the eight were present in the scene of offence," he said. Meanwhile, the women and Dalit activists have formed a coordination committee to fight on the issue seeking justice to the deceased family and punishment to the accused. The committee headed by Dalit leader, Pilli Vidyasagar, had called for Challo Tenali agitation on April 22, where they would renew their demand for stern action against the accused and protection for women.
Dalit bodies, women activists hold protest
Tenali (Guntur): The members of Dalit and women organisations held a protest at the office of the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) here on Wednesday, seeking stern action against the accused in the brutal killng of Betala Kanta Suneela. They took the body of Suneela in a procession in the streets, raising slogans against the government, the police and the Congress leaders, and sought justice for Suneela's family. Andhra Pradesh Dalit Mahasabha founder secretary Dr Kathi Padma Rao demanded a written commitment by the district administration on their demands. However, the RDO, S Srinivasa Murthy, told the agitators that the Collector had already sent his report to the State government and there was no going back on doing justice to the victim's family. Guntur Zilla Parishad chairman Kuchipudi Vijaya, Grandhalaya Samstha chairman Kuchipudi Sambasiva Rao, YSR Congress leader Meruga Nagarjuna and others were present during the protest. The Dalits called off the protest at the RDO office following the promise from the RDO and the High Court taking up the cause sue motto. Earlier in the day, the YSR Congress leaders Dr Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, P Gowtham Reddy and others paid tributes to Suneela.
They abused us, slapped my motherA
Daughter recounts horror, demands severe punishment Tenali: "We have gone for shopping at Gandhi Chowk. After shopping, we were coming home. As we reached the bar, a group of eight persons came out of it and passed abusive comments at us. I did not react, but my mother warned them," recalled Betala Mounika, the elder daughter of Betala Kanta Suneela, who died in a bid to save her from the drunken youth late on Monday night. Holding back her tears and with the support of her elders, Mounika gave an account of the incident. "It was 9.45 in the night and there were a few people on the road. A constable was on duty at the Gandhi Chowk. The drunken youth held my hand and dragged me to them. They held me in their hands. My mother protested and had even slapped one of them." When Suneela slapped a youth, two others pulled her to their side, and slapped her. "They held my mom and there was a lorry approaching us. The youth pushed her towards it. She fell on the road and was crushed under the rear wheels," she said. Tears rolled down in every one's eyes as a gathering listened to her with rapt attention. "I cried for help. I have seen a constable standing at the Gandhi Chowk. He did not respond. It was only after my mother was crushed by the lorry did he come and call for an ambulance," she said. She further added that she had identified all the eight persons when they were produced before her in the police station. "They have attempted the crime on me and killed my mother. They should be punished severely without even trial. They don't deserve trial," she shouted as the gathering supported her demand in one voice.
State govt urged to come to rescue of Suneela's family
  • CM, Speaker flayed for not calling on bereaved family
  • Compensation, jobs for her daughters demanded
  • Plea to shift liquor shops to suburbs to ensure safety of women
Tenali (Guntur): Andhra Pradesh Dalit Mahasabha Founder-General Secretary Dr Kathi Padma Rao on Wednesday strongly condemned the killing of Dalit woman Betala Kantha Suneela and demanded that the government pay a generous compensation to the bereaved family. He also demanded establishment of a special court and booking of cases against the accused under the Nirbhaya Act. Addressing Dalit and women activists who came together to protest against the heinous act of drunken youth and demand their sternest punishment, Dr Rao demanded that the government pay Rs 50 lakh cash as ex-gratia and provide five acres and government jobs for the two surviving daughters of Suneela. He threatened to intensify agitation if justice was not done to the them.
Shift liquour shops
Padma Rao also asked the government to shift liquor shops to the suburbs of villages, towns and cities in the State to ensure safety of women and prevent recurrence of such incidents. He also demanded that the government implement total prohibition at the earliest. He criticised Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy and Speaker Nadendla Manohar for not visiting the victim's family. He said that the two leaders were acting on caste basis even as people cutting across caste lines were condemning the incident. He said that Suneela had put up a brave fight like New Delhi's Nirbhaya against the accused. He said that while the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Nirbhaya's family, the Chief Minister and the Speaker failed to follow in their footsteps. "The failure of the Chief Minister and the Speaker to visit the deceased family shows their caste bias and we will complain to the National Human Rights Commission against the two leaders," Padma Rao said.
Collector assures speedy trial
Tenali: Guntur District Collector S Suresh Kumar on Wednesday promised to refer Betala Kanta Suneela's case to a fast-track court for speedy trial. Suresh Kumar called on Suneela's husband Babu Rao, a school teacher, and his two daughters Mounika and Kumeera, and consoled them. He promised to get maximum help from the government and do justice to them. He also promised to ensure that the case is transferred to the fast track court and punish the accused. Later, when presented with a list of demands women and Dalit activists led by Dr Kathi Padma Rao, the Collector said that he would forward their demands to the State government. He said Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy had enquired about the incident and asked him to visit Suneela's family on his behalf. Suresh Kumar said that the government would sponsor the education of both Mounika and Kumeera and give employment to either of them. However, he said he had the right to give only Rs 4 lakh compensation to the family but would refer their demand of Rs 50 lakh and 5 acres of land each to the two daughters to the State government. He also said that he would convey the special court demand to the government. He further said that he had directed the local excise officials to close the bar which was the scene of offence. He said he would also write to the Excise Commissioner for cancellation of the licence of the bar as demanded by the women and Dalit activists.
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