GUNTUR: YSR Congress MLA, representing the Tadikonda (SC reserved) constituency, Undavalli Sridevi was allegedly abused in the name of her caste by persons reportedly belonging to the TDP, when she went to perform puja at a Ganesh pandal in Anantavaram village of Thulluru Mandal on Monday. While one of those involved in the case was arrested, a hunt is on to nab the others.
Sridevi went to Anantavaram to pay tributes at the statue of the former chief minister, the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, on Monday on the occasion of the latter’s death anniversary.
Later, the MLA went to the nearby Ganesh pandal following an invitation from local YSRC leader Ramesh and others. Local TDP leaders Kommineni Sivaiah and two others prevented her from offering puja and allegedly made discriminatory and disrespectful remarks against her caste.
They allegedly remarked that the place would lose its sanctity if she broke a coconut at the pandal. As heated arguments broke out between the two sides, the MLA left the place in tears.
Later, YSR Congress leader Arepalli Joji lodged a complaint against three persons -- Kommineni Sivaiah, Kommineni Sai and Kommineni Ramakrishna -- at Thulluru police station. Based on the complaint, police registered cases under various Sections of IPC and also SC/ST Atrocity (Prevention) Act against the trio.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, Sridevi said that it’s unfortunate that leaders of the TDP belonging to a particular community humiliated her with their remarks.
“Earlier, it was TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu who insulted Dalits. Following in the footsteps of their leader, his party leaders targeted a Dalit MLA,’’ she remarked. She lamented that Dalits were being subjected to discrimination in the capital city area of the State. “Naidu should be arrested as he is the one who has encouraged caste discrimination in the State,’’ she said. She also lodged a complaint with DGP Goutam Sawang and the Guntur rural SP demanding stern action against the accused.
Interestingly, she got the support of TDP senior leader and MLC Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, who also hails from the SC community. Condemning the attack on Sridevi, he demanded severe action against the accused keeping aside party affiliations.
AP Women’s Commission chairperson Vasireddy Padma, who spoke to Sridevi after the incident, directed the Guntur urban SP to take stern action against those who insulted the MLA. Expressing displeasure over the caste slur on a woman MLA, Padma said the incident also raised questions on the safety of women.
Tulluru DSP Y Srinivasa Reddy said they arrested Kommineni Sivaiah and a special team was formed to nab the absconding persons.