HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh government’s crackdown on Facebook page ‘Political Punch’, for making some unsavoury remarks on the ruling establishment, has turned into a direct war between the ruling party and the principal opposition, the YSRC.
Though the AP police dropped the administrator of ‘Political Punch,’ Inturi Ravi Kiran, who was detained by the cops on Friday, back at his home here after stern warnings on Saturday morning, they later conducted searches at YSRC’s social media wing at the party headquarters, located at Lotus Pond, Banjara Hills, here.
Police claimed that the searches were conducted following a complaint lodged by AP Assembly secretary Satyarayana regarding the satirical posts on Facebook.
They also questioned some of the employees in the YSRC office. On coming to know of this, YSRC MPs V Vijay Sai Reddy and P V Mithun Reddy, along with MLAs Srinivasulu and Anil Kumar Yadav, rushed to the office. Vijay Sai questioned the cops about the searches and asked them to act impartially. The police served a notice on the party’s IT wing.
Party IT wing chief Challa Madhusudhan Reddy said the police were accusing the IT wing of keeping Ravikiran Inturi on its payroll.
Meanwhile YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that AP Chief Minister N Chandababu Naidu was using police to stifle people’s voice and gag social media. “Request YSRC supporters across the globe to condemn CBN’s undemocratic tyrannical act in throttling social media, using the very same media,” Jagan tweeted.
Earlier, after police dropped him at his house here, Ravi Kiran told newsmen that he had informed the AP police that the posts were just satirical and that he did not have backing of any political party.
He said AP police took to Tulluru police station at around 10 am and made him wait there till 3 pm on Friday. “They took me in an auto, later in a car and then in an SUV, and we went round in the car for about four hours at Velagapudi,” he said.
Ravikiran said at around 7 pm on Friday, the police informed him about going back to Hyderabad. He was taken to a guest house, where he was questioned about the Facebook posts. “They threatened me that I can be booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, as there were also derogatory posts about MLA V Anitha,” he said.
Denying any political motive behind the posts, he claimed he had been doing the same work for the past two and half years.