People's movement to contain rowdy-sheeters
Citizen's Forum fights peace-breaker gangs Ramesh Babu Srikakulam: The district which is the hot bed of struggles against inequities is witness...
Citizen's Forum fights peace-breaker gangs Ramesh Babu Srikakulam: The district which is the hot bed of struggles against inequities is witness to yet another revolution. Credit goes to the workers in the district for fighting for their rights, to the people for protecting the environment and to the Girijans for their right to life. In the recent times, the peaceful atmosphere in the district has been vitiated by some rowdy-sheeters under the influence of some invisible forces. Vexed with the atrocities by the goons the people here have taken up yet another campaign to maintain law and order. To quote an example from the movies, it is often observed that the hero exhorts the people with a dialogue like, "if all of you put your hands together, the goons will die with a heart attack for the very sound of it." But in reality doing this is not that easy. Most often people are indifferent. A revolution has begun here to make the impossible possible, protesting against the villainy of disturbing forces. Discussions, meetings, rallies, sloganeering and bandhs were organised to subdue the anti-social elements. People's organisations have come together to protect the victims. Thus those who had strutted on the streets as rowdy-sheeters and goons are now afraid to even venture out. The people's movement that will be written down in history in golden words is an inspiration to other such regions. It all began with the opposition parties charging the son of Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and several other Congress leaders of the town with nurturing rowdyism and goondaism as a cover up for an illegal sex racket by prominent political elements. Reliable forces revealed that the political leaders were afraid that their perverted activities would be exposed and were dancing to the tunes of the anti-social elements. The gangsters on the other hand with an intention of earning money the crooked way were resorting to threats, settlements, land grabbing, sand mafia, cricket bettings and gambling clubs and were behaving in a highhanded manner. Locals alleged that the rowdy-sheeters were encouraged by politicians and the loopholes in the law were acting in their favour. Tired of their atrocities, the people here decided to fight back. A voluntary organisation, Citizen's Forum, headed by a Gandhian, Baratam Kameshwar Rao extended support to the people. A debate was organised by the forum in the local NGO Home, on March 17, on excesses by rowdy-sheeters and goondas. A draft action plan was formulated by people's organisations, voluntary bodies and political party representatives. Earlier, the forum received complaints from the victims. Among the names that were prominently heard were Kungfu Shekar, mechanic Jilani, Gabbar, Srinivasa Rao, Taekwando Sreenu and Dharmendra. Kungfu Shekar was arrested by the police for terrorising a car owner, based on a written complaint and cases were booked against him under sections 384 and 506. However, on the directions of a judge, the police registered false cases under sections 382 and 506. Another accused, Jilani was arrested under sections 448, 341, 323, 506 etc., for terrorising through illegal entry into a house, wrongful confinement and causing minor injury and produced in the court. Also, editor of a magazine, Taekwando Sreenu was arrested for forcible collections from tractor owners in the name of sand mafia. Meanwhile, people from Dhammalaveedhi related their woes to the One Town police on March 19, regarding the bad reputation to their colony because of the goondas Gabbar and Sreenu brothers. Several elders and youth from Dhammalaveedhi, at a meeting in the local Press Club, decided to banish Gabbar and Sreenu from the street as they have brought a bad name to it. However, based on a voice recording of the brothers by one Surada Appalaraju, a resident of the street, who was threatened with murder, police registered cases of causing fear under sections 506 and 66(a) against the duo. It must be said here that all this was possible only because of the people's movement. In response to a call by voluntary organisations and people's unions, a huge rally was conducted here on March 20. People voluntarily participated and expressed solidarity. There was deadly silence in the town. The aggressors lay low not knowing what to do. Knowing that the fight against rowdyism is a threat to the people, the leaders of the movement met Superintendent of Police Gopala Rao, on March 22 and explained the situation. They told the SP that the police method of dealing with the goons was not right. He however urged them to lodge a complaint in the nearest police station. Clarifying that some arrests were made based on complaints, the SP urged the people's leaders to inform him on time regarding the affairs of the people. Police set up keen vigil in some problematic areas. Night patrolling was increased. An anti-goonda squad is to arrive in the district to wipe out goondaism. On this occasion, Citizen's Forum president Gandhian Baratam Kameshwar said that efforts will be made to create more awareness among the people to carry forward the movement in a non-violent manner.