Vijayawada: Telugu Desam Party national president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday urged the Andhra Pradesh director-general of police (DGP) to withdraw false cases against TDP leaders and stop the fake arrests. This came after the midnight arrest of former TDP MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar.

In a letter to the DGP, Mr. Naidu described the arrest of former MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar as unlawful and undemocratic. Accusing the YSRCP of promoting a "suppressive police raj", he said a section of the police is harassing Opposition leaders and the general public if they dissent against the government.

Mr. Naidu said the police should focus on bringing down the crime rate by preventing atrocities, rapes, and murders instead of targeting the TDP leaders. They should immediately withdraw all false cases filed against the Opposition protesters on 28 August 2021, the TDP chief said, adding that the agitators were only demanding a rollback of petrol, diesel, and essential commodities price hike in a peaceful manner. They had a right to express dissent in order to protect the interests of the people, he added.

The TDP supremo told the DGP that Opposition leaders were either illegally placed under house arrest or detained or harassed with false cases just for protesting against the "anti-people" policies of the government. Expression of dissent is part of freedom of speech guaranteed in the fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution, Mr. Naidu explained.

He said that the attacks against Opposition leaders are continuing as is evident from the latest arrest of the former MLA. Mr. Prabhakar had protested against the petrol and diesel price hike and met tahsildar in Denduluru to submit a representation on 28 August 2021. Mr. Naidu said that though Mr. Prabhakar held a peaceful demonstration, a false case was registered against him under various sections of the IPC and the Disaster Management Act 2005. Later, he was arrested and taken away from a wedding function in Visakhapatnam.

The TDP leader told the DGP that the state was witnessing murders and rapes daily because the police were ignoring law and order and diverting their focus from filing false complaints against TDP leaders. As a result, the people of AP were living in constant fear and insecurity. He said that people are observing and taking cognizance of such highhandedness and undemocratic actions. The present functioning of police would remain a black mark on the police institution. Though the Leader of Opposition has been included as a member in the AP State Security Commission, no meeting of this commission was held to date, Mr. Naidu added.

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