KHAMMAM: A Day after CPI-ML (New Democracy) Dalam commander Punem Linganna died in an “exchange of fire” between the ultras and the police at Rollagadda of Gundala Mandal, tension remained high in the Manugur agency division.
Even though Section 144 was imposed across Gundala Mandal, several leaders and workers belonging to the CPI-ML (New Democracy) party took to the streets of Khammam, Bhadradrikothagudem and Mahabubabad districts in protest, resulting in the arrest of over 100 such protesters. It is learnt that the police have deployed additional forces into the Rollagadda forest area, in order to intensify the combing operation to nab the five Naxals who escaped.
Meanwhile, New Democracy party leaders including Potu Ranga Rao, G Venkateswara Rao and Gummadi Narasaiah, as well as the family members of Linganna, alleged that he did not die in an ‘exchange of firing’ but was instead murdered by the police. They also accused the police of conducting Linganna’s postmortem without informing his family. “We had noticed burns on his body. Even his testicles looked swollen. All these have raised our doubts regarding his death.
But the police conducted the postmortem without informing us,” said a family member. Alleging that incident to be a fake encounter, paries including the Telangana Praja front, CPM and CPI condemned the illegal arrests and killing of Linganna. Telangana Praja Front state president Ravi Chander accused the police of firing at Linganna unilaterally. He demanded an inquiry on the issue. The family also accused the police of arresting the party leaders who were coming to pay homage to Linganna at the area hospital in Kothagudem.
The Kothagudem police arrested former Yellandu MLA Gummadi Narasaiah, Potu Ranga Rao, Royal Chandrasekhar, Chandra Aruna, Vimalakka, G Venkateswara Rao among others, and shifted them to One and Two Town police stations. Former MLA and New Democracy State leader G Narasaiah demanded that the police release the party workers and leaders who were arrested. He also said that the police were harassing the tribals in Rollagadda forest.