KAKINADA: Malkipuram police on Tuesday arrested Jana Sena Party’s Razole MLA Rapaka Varaprasada Rao for allegedly obstructing police from arresting his followers caught gambling in a guest house and damaging public property. Varaprasada Rao was booked under Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act, and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
On August 11 night, Malkipuram police raided a guest house and took nine persons into their custody for gambling. Not long after, the MLA reached there and asked the police to release the vehicles and mobile phones that were seized. The SI told the MLA that an FIR was already registered and that those arrested could be released only after bail.
Later, the MLA with hundreds of his followers allegedly barged into the police station and abused the police officer. The window panes and some other items were also damaged by the followers.
Senior police officials took a serious note of the incident and registered cases against the MLA and his followers, Eluru Range DIG AK Khan said.
As the stage was set for the arrests on Tuesday, senior police officials went to his residence only to find him absent. Then a search was launched across the district to trace the MLA, he added. “Acts like these by an MLA send wrong signals to the society.” Varaprasada Rao later surrendered him the police. However, party activists entered into a minor jostle with the cops when the MLA was being taken to a court after medical tests. After the court granted him station bail and ordered his release, Varaprasada Rao’s followers took out a rally.
Earlier, Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, reacting to the arrest of the party’s lone MLA, said the government had made a big issue out of a minor incident. “Why did the police not arrest YSRC MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy from Nellore when he was involved in an attack on a senior journalist?’’ he questioned and threatened to sit on a protest in Razole.