Amaravati: The TDP national president and former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on 26 August, asked the AP director-general of police to order a high-level inquiry to arrest the persons who forced Dalit youth Om Prathap to end his life in Chittoor.
In a letter to the DGP, Mr. Naidu stressed the immediate need to check the call list on Om Prathap’s phone to find out who had issued death threats against the youth prior to his death. He alleged that Prathap had ended his life following threats from YSRCP leaders over his widely-circulated video.
The TDP chief said it was saddening to witness a spurt in attacks against Dalits under the present government. He added that it was equally disheartening to see police inaction on the one hand while on the other a section of the police was conniving with the ruling YSRCP leaders to attack, harass, and threaten Dalits. As a result, the attacks on Dalits are continuing unabated, he added.
Mr. Naidu told the DGP: “It is with a heavy heart that I would like to bring to your notice the suicide of Om Prathap from Kanduru village under Somala mandal, Punganuru. Prathap used to earn his livelihood by driving an auto-rickshaw in Madanapalle town. He has recorded his frustration with the YSRCP government in a video and the same was circulated widely among the Telugu people.”
The TDP chief said that the ruling party leaders, including minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, representing Punganuru Assembly constituency, had reportedly plunged into action and made several threatening calls to Prathap. It was therefore necessary to check Prathap’s call list, he added.
Mr. Naidu said that a special high-level committee should be formed to inquire into the spate of attacks against Dalits across the state in general and the suicide of Prathap in particular. Further, it is equally important to complete the investigation into Prathap’s death at the earliest and bring the culprits to justice, he said, adding only such swift and stern action would restore faith in the law and order among the people of Andhra Pradesh.