KHAMMAM: Tension prevailed in front of the Khammam district jail on Wednesday when the podu farmers of Yellannanagar village, after they were released from prison, staged a protest alleging that the jail authorities harassed and denied them food.
It may be recalled that the Konijerla police had, on August 6, booked as many as 23 podu cultivators, including 18 women, on attempt to murder charges, based on a complaint filed by Forest Department officials. Of the total 23 residents of Yellannanagar village, the personnel arrested 21 ryots, including three lactating mothers, and sent them to the district jail in Khammam.
Though the officials had initially booked them under Sections 307 and 148 of the IPC, the personnel soon filed a memo before the court seeking permission to withdraw these sections, following massive criticism. After five days, these 21 podu cultivators were finally released from the prison on Wednesday.
Soon after they came out of the jail, the podu ryots staged a protest alleging that the jail authorities manhandled and harassed them. They further stated that the officials denied them food and water while inside the prison.
“They mercilessly thrashed six of our women and locked them up in a dark chamber,” they alleged. Meanwhile, jail superintendent K Sridhar reached the spot, interacted with ryots and promised to initiate an inquiry into the matter.