VIJAYAWADA: TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday slammed the YSRC government in the state for registering cases against former minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and other leaders and misusing SC/ST Act, instead of acting on their complaints of illegal mining in Kondapalli reserve forest near Vijayawada. Naidu called on the family members of Devineni Uma at the latter’s residence in Gollapudi and assured them of total support from the party.
Meanwhile, Devineni Uma’s wife Anupama, claiming threat to life of her husband, who is currently lodged in Rajahmundry Central Jail, from the mining mafia and goons, wrote letters to the AP High Court Chief Justice, Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and AP Home Minister M Sucharita, urging them to order immediate protection to her husband.
In her letters, Anupama made it clear that it was because of Uma’s struggle against illegal mining in Kondapalli forests that he was implicated in a false case and arrested. Pointing out that Rajahmundry Central Jail Superintendent was suddenly transferred and replaced, she said the unexpected transfer was raising doubts and concerns about the safety of her husband.
Addressing mediapersons after meeting Devineni Uma’s family, the TDP chief questioned on what grounds cases were registered against the former minister under SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. “Devineni Uma was addressing a press conference at the mining site and later remained inside his vehicle for over nine hours following an attack by anti-social elements. Instead of taking action against those who attacked his vehicle, false cases were foisted against him and he was arrested. It’s a shame on the government and police,” he fumed.
Describing the attack on Uma and others as an attack on public assets and environmental protection, Naidu alleged that under the YSRC rule, the mining mafia was exploiting the forest wealth and cutting down trees that were needed to make world renowned Kondapalli toys. Demanding action against the mining mafia, the TDP chief said they will move the NGT if no action was forthcoming. Meanwhile, several TDP leaders in both Krishna and Guntur were either arrested or put under house arrest, when they set out to visit Kondapalli. Later in the day, they were released.